April 16, 2020
The Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced the Borrower Protection Program, a joint initiative that enables CFPB and FHFA to share servicing information to protect borrowers during the coronavirus national emergency.
Under the program, the CFPB will make complaint information and analytical tools available to FHFA via a secure electronic interface. FHFA will make available to the Bureau information about forbearances, modifications and other loss mitigation initiatives undertaken by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
“Through the partnership being announced today, the Bureau will share our insights with FHFA and ensure we get their data on how mortgage servicers are working with their customers during this critical time and going forward,” said CFPB Director Kathleen L. Kraninger.
“No one should be worried about losing their home,” said FHFA Director Mark Calabria. “Borrowers are entitled to accurate information about their forbearance options. This partnership with CFPB ensures FHFA can address misconceptions stemming from consumer complaints by working with Fannie and Freddie servicers.”
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks provide more than $6.3 trillion in funding for the U.S. mortgage market. In response to the COVID-19 national emergency, they permitted borrowers with a financial hardship due to the pandemic the ability to enter into forbearance, a pause or reduction in their monthly mortgage. The missed payments will have to be paid back by the borrower. The missed payments can be added to the normal monthly payments, paid back all at once, tacked on to the end of the loan, or the borrower can have the term of the loan extended.
The Bureau continues to process consumer complaints through the consumer compliant system. Through the consumer complaint system, the CFPB gets responses from companies to resolve consumer issues and takes the information into account in supervisory and enforcement work. The CFPB has also released information on new programs aimed at helping struggling consumers during this time. These programs include student loan payment suspension; mortgage forbearance; stimulus payments; and the paycheck protection program. Additionally, the Bureau has a centralized webpage with information on how consumers can protect their finances during the pandemic.