Moratorium Extended on Evictions & Foreclosures

Old House With American Flag

Extension for Renters and Homeowners Until June 30th

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced in February that it will extend the existing moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until June 30, 2021 due to COVID-19. The previous extensions were set to expire on March 31, 2021. 

“We will do everything in our power to help Veterans, their families, survivors and our caregivers get through this pandemic,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “The department’s moratorium and forbearance extensions support President Biden’s Jan. 22 Executive Order to deliver economic relief to Americans amid the COVID-19 crisis by addressing economic hardships the Veteran community faces, through no fault of their own, during the ongoing pandemic.”

This extension also applies to VA loan forbearance requests.

What Does That Mean?

If you’ve been unable to pay rent, under normal, non-pandemic conditions, you’d likely be evicted. If you’re unable to pay your mortgage, the bank would usually foreclose on your home, which means they become the legal owner of the property. The result is you’d be legally forced to leave.

However, the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures has prevented countless veterans and citizens being removed from their homes during this pandemic. This extension will allow homeowners and renters the ability to have the missed payments held in forbearance.

A “forbearance” allows the Veteran to get back on a regular, monthly payment schedule by giving them time to resolve the reason that they can’t make the payments. The missed payments, which are due at the end of a forbearance period, do not have to be settled in a single payment. However, if Veterans can make up all the payments in a lump sum and resume making regular payments, then it is highly encouraged.

The VA hosts a podcast called “Borne the Battle”, and in a recent bonus episode, they addressed questions that many veteran-borrowers are facing. They discussed topics like homeownership, borrowing, forbearance, VA Loans, complaint filing, and financial decision making.

Getting Help

The following resources are available to you if you needs help navigating this difficult time:

  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – the CFPB hosts a “Find a Counselor” tool to help find agencies approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • The HOPE Hotline – Veterans can call (888) 995-HOPE (4673), 24/7, for personalized advice related to their housing situation.
  • VA borrowers who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can review “VA Guidance for Borrowers”, or call 877-827-3702 for information.
  • Other mortgage and financial resources are available at: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus
  • The Veterans Crisis Line – While this resource is not housing-specific, the thought or experience of losing a home can be traumatic. If you are Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, contact the VA’s qualified responders for confidential help:

Having a place to live is a basic human right, and homeownership strengthens our veterans and our communities. Therefore, if you need assistance to stay in your home, please reach out to any and all of these resources. Homelessness should not be an option!

 

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About the author

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Robert Haynes is a retired Army infantryman who has a squad of kids and is married to an active duty Soldier. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, who spent his last few years in the Army as a Drill Sergeant. He is now a full-time dad, freelance writer, and out-of-work comedian.