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Homeowners and renters catch a break: Evictions and foreclosures are on pause for another two months

(CNN) In an effort to keep homeowners and renters in their homes as they navigate the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, federal foreclosure and eviction moratoriums are being extended for two more months.

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will extend the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions on single-family homes until August 31. The protections were originally set to expire on June 30.

In addition, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development will extend Federal Housing Administration loan forgiveness for homeowners with FHA-insured single-family mortgages until the end of August. The program was put in place in March with a 60-day moratorium and was later extended until the end of June.

"While the economic recovery is already underway, many American families still need more time and assistance to regain their financial footing," said Ben Carson, the Secretary of HUD. "Our foreclosure and eviction extension means that these families will not have to worry about losing their home as they work to recover from the financial impacts of Covid-19."

Servicers must continue to halt new foreclosure actions and suspend foreclosure actions that were in process, as well as cease evictions of people renting FHA-backed single family properties. The only exception to the stay is for occupants of legally vacant or abandoned properties.

Homeowners with FHA-insured or Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans should continue to make mortgage payments during the foreclosure and eviction moratorium if they are able to. If they cannot, they may seek mortgage payment forbearance made available through the Coronavirus Relief and Economic Security Act, or the CARES Act.

Under the CARES Act, homeowners affected by coronavirus with federally-backed loans can delay or reduce payments for up to a year, and are not required to make a lump sum repayment at the end of the forbearance period.

Those who don't have government-backed loans may also get forbearance, at the discretion of their lender.

To better understand the protections and assistance that the government is offering homeowners and renters because of coronavirus, several agencies including HUD, FHFA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have developed an information website, cfpb.gov/housing.

"During this national health emergency no one should worry about losing their home," said Federal Housing Finance Agency director Mark Calabria.

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