04/02/2020 - COVID-19 Servicing Update

COVID-19 Servicing Update - 04/02/2020

Please continue directing impacted customers to contact their current Servicer.  It is extremely important they make contact with their Servicer to provide updates on their impact and to discuss available assistance options.  


Customers experiencing an immediate hardship due to COVID-19, including job loss, income reduction, illness or other related impacts preventing them from making mortgage payments are being offered a Forbearance Agreement on their primary residence, second home or investment property.  This option may allow customers to temporarily suspend or reduce monthly mortgage payments.


As per guidance from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and government loan agencies, Fairway and most servicers are offering an initial forbearance plan for a period between 90 to 180 days and offering extensions in accordance with the allowable forbearance plan timelines allowed within the CARES Act and other applicable guidelines.


Post-Forbearance Assistance:

Upon completion of the Forbearance plan, Servicers will work with customers if necessary to pursue long-term assistance options, such as Loan Modifications to insure customers are offered the optimum support with their mortgage as described in the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act).


New Information


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac introduced a new payment deferral program. 

This may be an eligible option post-forbearance. It is a non-interest bearing balance due and payable at the maturity or payoff of the mortgage loan. 


HUD has implemented the use of a COVID Standalone Partial Claim

After the forbearance period, HUD advances the unpaid amount and the borrower signs a promissory note with HUD. The partial claim is serviced by HUD. 

  • The property must be owner occupied
  • The mortgage was current or less than 30 days past due as of March 1, 2020


Credit Reporting:

The CARES Act requires Servicers to not report negative data to credit bureaus for customers actively performing on Forbearance plans.  Servicers must report these customers to the credit bureaus as either current on monthly mortgage payments or at the same status prior to the hardship.  


The credit reporting protections described above will be in effect for impacted customers until the later of the following:

  • 120 days after the enactment of the CARES Act 

or

  • 120 days after the National Emergency Declaration for Coronavirus is terminated


  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and government loan agencies are requiring servicers to suspend credit bureau reporting of past due payments for customers in Forbearance, Repayment Plans or Trial Period Plans 


  • Customers will be reported as current, if they were current prior to the COVID forbearance (or as of March 1st 2020) and if they are performing under their forbearance plan or other allowable loss mitigation options


Late Fees:

Servicers must not accrue or collect late charges from customers during the Forbearance plan. If customers default on the terms of the Forbearance plan, Servicers are authorized to accrue late charges from the date customers defaulted on the plan.


Foreclosures and Evictions:  

Moratoriums are in place on the initiation of new foreclosures, foreclosure sales and evictions – except for vacant and abandoned properties.  Under current guidance, the period of the moratorium extends to May 18, 2020.  The Federal Government may extend this timeframe.


Investment Properties: 

In accordance with the CARES Act, landlords with mortgages insured, guaranteed, supplemented, protected, or assisted by HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or certain other programs are temporarily prohibited for 120 days from eviction filings, assessing late fees or other penalties for nonpayment of rent. 


Options that are not being offered / not available:

  • Add payments to the back of the loan (extension)
  • Skip payments
  • Waiving interest

Note:  Deferments, skipping payments and adding payments to the back of the loan are not Forbearance options.  Deferments permanently alter the terms of the original security instrument by adding missed payments to the back of the loan.  Payments under a Forbearance remain due and payable once the time frame expires, and customers have to partner with their Servicer for long term Loss Mitigation options (repayment plans, modifications, etc.)


Although requirements vary, what is consistent is the need for customers to contact their Servicer if they are experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID-19.


Customer-friendly information is available on our Fairway corporate website on the Payment Information (servicing) page under “COVID 19 Payment Assistance” at: https://www.fairwayindependentmc.com/loan-servicing


If Customers Need Assistance:

New origination or refinance customers whose loans have not yet Service Transferred to their new servicer may contact Fairway toll-free at 1-800-201-7544 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time Monday – Friday, and they will be connected to a specialist who will assist with the assessment of available payment assistance options.  


For customers whose loans have recently transferred or are in the process of transferring, their new Servicer Contact Information is available on www.FairwayNEXT.com.


Retained Servicing loans branded as Fairway and serviced by our subservicer ServiceMac may contact a Customer Experience Specialist by calling toll-free 1-877-297-5350 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time Monday - Friday, and they will be connected to a specialist who will assist with the assessment of available payment assistance options.


As with natural disaster declarations, the CARES Act may provide customer relief through Small Business Administration loans if eligible.


Please email Servicing 911 for internal assistance or questions.  Fairway Servicing will communicate future updates as this event continues to develop.