MaineStream Finance

Article Title: Housing Updates – Relief, Deadlines, Deferrals, and Moratoria for renters, landlords, and homeowners

Article Content

There is a lot to unpack from recent Federal relief bills, agency extensions, and rent relief assistance. The below does not cover every housing program that is changing or has additional funding – just those that directly impact many individual families in Maine. We’ll keep you posted as things change – especially if the new “Biden” COVID-19 relief bill is passed in March/April 2021. If you need help, contact Pine Tree Legal, Penquis Housing Counseling (or msfinfo@penquis.org), or any of these Maine-based HUD-certified housing counseling agencies. Maine 211 can help as well.

Rental

As mentioned in homeownership below, any tenants in Federal Government financed buildings by USDA, FHA/HUD, or Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac have an eviciton moratorium. Most evictions in Maine are on hold anyway, and the MaineHousing Rental Assistance Program is now open.

Contact Pine Tree Legal, Maine Equal Justice, or Penquis Housing Counseling if you need help. For more information on Federal/US-wide topics on rental support, see CFPB’s page on Help for Renters.

Mortgages/Home Ownership

As of 2/16/21, all direct government agencies, FHA/HUD, VA, and USDA as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (through FHFA on 2/25/21) have extended their deadlines to apply for mortgage forbearance/deferrals to June 30, 2021 – there is also a foreclosure moratorium through June 30. You can find more at the White House Fact Sheet on Forbearance and Foreclosures, this CFPB housing relief page, and the National Fair Housing Alliance Summary Sheet. Not sure who your loan is with? You can look it up here at the CFPB website.

Contact Pine Tree Legal, Penquis Housing Counseling, or Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection (BCCP) if you need help.

  • State of Maine Foreclosure Mediation Court – foreclosure mediation and court proceedings are effectively closed now. There is testing of mediation and court proceedings online but is not active.
  • HUD/FHA
    • FHA Loan foreclosure (and rental) eviction moratorium is extended through June 30, 2021.
    • FHA forbearance/deferral requests are extended to June 30, 2021 as well.
  • Fannie Mae/FNMA and Freddie Mac (under FHFA)
    • FannieMae/Freddie Mac have extended the foreclosure (and eviction) moratorium to June 30, 2021.
    • They did not address a forbearance/deferral request deadline, but requests can still be made until further notice.
  • USDA
    • USDA’s loan foreclosure (and eviction) moratorium is extended to June 30, 2021.
    • USDA’s loan forbearance/deferral request deadline is extended to June 30, 2021.
  • VA
    • VA’s loan foreclosure moratorium is extended to June 30, 2021.
    • VA’s loan forbearance/deferral request deadline is June 30, 2021 (Update) 31.

More Support Coming – March Federal Relief Package

  • It will be several months, but there is $10 billion in assistance to homeowners in trouble of default or foreclosure
  • an additional $21.5 billion in rental assistance in addition to the program running now with MaineHousing

If you need help with your housing situation, contact one of our Penquis housing counselors here or email us at MSFInfo@penquis.org.

2 thoughts on “Housing Updates – Relief, Deadlines, Deferrals, and Moratoria for renters, landlords, and homeowners

  1. Hi,
    I was wondering if you had any idea when the rental assistance would be available to apply for.
    I’m sure your busy, especially during these times. I greatly appreciate your time and effort.
    Thank you,
    Julie Dickinson

    1. Thanks for your message on our website. I believe the rental assistance for Maine should be open within 1-2 weeks again this month/February from what we are hearing. You can monitor these two websites below that will keep you current on when it will open back up:

      • MaineHouisng Rental Assistance Program: https://www.mainehousing.org/programs-services/rental/rentaldetail/covid-19-rental-relief-program
      o If you scroll down to the bottom, you can sign up for email updates.

      • Maine Community Action Partnership (MECAP): https://mecap.org/rent-relief/

      If you do need to talk to someone 1:1 – we do provide rental counseling to help you work out a plan and work with your landlord (even if the financial assistance is open or not). Heather Massow, copied here, leads that team and can have someone give you a call. You can find out more here: https://www.mainestreamfinance.org/homeownership/rental-counseling-eviction. You can fill out the inquiry survey to get started (“Contact a Counselor” – red button). Or email us at MSFInfo@penquis.org.

      Thanks!

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