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The Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) recently issued Mortgagee Letter 2022-07 to announce updates to the COVID-19 Recovery Loss Mitigation Options (“COVID-19 Recovery Options”) that include a 40-year loan modification.

Mortgagee Letter 2022-07 outlines changes that will be included in a future update to the HUD Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 under Section III.A.2.o.iii(C). The new policy is designed to help homeowners reach a targeted 25% reduction in monthly principal and interest payment.  Mortgagees must determine if a 25% reduction can be achieved by a modified 30-year rate and term mortgage, or a 30-year modification with principal deferment. If the target payment is still not reached under these options, a mortgagee can modify a mortgage to a 40-year loan if the borrower has a partial claim available. 

The FHA notes that by adding a 40-year modification option, FHA borrowers will be given loss mitigation options similar to those available to borrowers with conventional loans. The extended loan term is also meant to reduce future defaults and foreclosures by providing the option for additional payment relief.

The guidance includes an exception for FHA-insured mortgages backed by mortgage revenue bonds so that those mortgagees will not be out of compliance with their bond agreements or the Internal Revenue Service tax code.  The guidance for eligibility states that “mortgagees that service mortgages funded in connection with mortgage revenue bonds that are restricted by the Internal Revenue Code are exempt from the COVID-19 Recovery Modification if they cannot extend the term of a mortgage beyond the original 30 years or the interest rate cannot be modified.”

The COVID-19 Recovery Options apply to all FHA Title II Single Family forward mortgage programs. The updates may be implemented immediately but must be implemented by servicers by July 17, 2022. 

DocMagic also recently published more information regarding a proposed rule published by HUD in the Federal Register that would extend the maximum modification loan term limit from 30 years to 40 years.  For more information, click here.