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HUD has provided expanded relief for borrowers who have FHA-insured loans and face COVID-19 hardships. As with its standard loss mitigation program, HUD generally makes COVID-19 policy updates through Mortgagee Letters, which communicate program updates to servicers. The relief available in response to the COVID-19 pandemic builds on FHA’s current loss mitigation waterfall found at HUD Handbook 4000.1.

HUD has made several changes to their program for COVID-19 hardships throughout the pandemic. Advocates should continue to look for program updates on HUD’s website and for Mortgagee Letters as the agency continues to tweak its COVID-19 loss mitigation guidance.

In addition to the relief provisions described below, HUD has also eased regulations on servicers. On March 13, 2020, it issued a one-year waiver of the face-to-face meeting requirement found at 24 C.F.R. § 203.604, and it has extended the waiver until the end of 2021.339 Under the waiver, the servicer still must attempt to contact the borrower pursuant to 24 C.F.R. § 203.604 using alternative methods such as email, phone, and video conferencing. HUD implemented the waiver in light of the pandemic.