GSEs Launch Tools to Assist Residents in Eviction Protection

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each released online resources that identify whether a resident is protected by a temporary eviction moratorium.

Two of the U.S.’s largest home lenders have launched online tools to help its residents see if they have eviction protection due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fannie Mae released its Renters Resource Finder where residents can enter their address and see if they are eligible for eviction protection under the federal CARES Act. Similarly, Freddie Mac launched a simple online tool that helps residents see if they are living in Freddie Mac-backed properties.

Jeffery Hayward, executive vice president of Fannie Mae Multifamily, said in prepared remarks that Fannie Mae created the tool because residents shouldn’t need to deal with confusing and misleading information given the current global health situation.

The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27 to address the major damage the coronavirus pandemic caused to the U.S. economy. Within the new law, residents of properties that have a Fannie Mae- or a Freddie Mac-backed mortgage would not be evicted due to a 120-day eviction moratorium that lasts until July 25. The CARES Act also prevents landlords from charging residents fees, penalties or other charges due to not paying rent.

RENTS BEING PAID DESPITE CORONAVIRUS

While evictions have been put on hold, Freddie Mac noted that rent payments are still due during any temporary moratoriums. Even with unemployment filings in the U.S. hitting 30 million claims, an April survey by the National Multifamily Housing Council showed that 91.5 percent of renters have either paid their rent in full or partially.

For those who can’t make their rent, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are still offering help. Those who live in a Fannie Mae-financed property get access to its Disaster Response Network that offers HUD-approved housing counselors, federal and state housing assistance and guidance on unemployment benefits and nutritional assistance.

Freddie Mac also said renters should reach out to their landlords or property managers as well as its consumer helpline. Debby Jenkins, executive vice president and head of Freddie Multifamily, said Freddie Mac wants to do all it can to provide support, information and relief to its borrowers and residents that are experiencing financial hardships due the coronavirus pandemic.