The United States Department of Agriculture, through its Rural Housing Service, operates a guaranteed and a direct loan program. These programs are detailed both in this treatise and in NCLC’s Home Foreclosures.120
Through its public announcements and the interagency guidance discussed above, the USDA has provided relief for USDA-homeowners facing COVID-19 hardship, described below.121
It is easy to determine whether a loan is a direct USDA loan. These mortgage contracts are between the United States and the borrower, with the loan payable to the government. On the other hand, it is more challenging to determine if the borrower has a USDA guaranteed loan. The guaranteed loans are owned by private financial institutions and are serviced by private companies. There is not an easy means to identify the guaranteed loan’s status. Advocates should directly ask servicers if they believe loans have USDA status. An RFI can be helpful for this purpose.
121 USDA, Press Release: Biden Administration Announces Another Foreclosure Moratorium and Mortgage Forbearance Deadline Extension That Will Bring Relief to Rural Residents, Release No. 0026-21 (Feb. 16, 2021); USDA, USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities Affected by COVID-19 (updated Jan. 21, 2021), available at https://www.rd.usda.gov; Interagency Guidance, CARES Act Forbearance Fact Sheet for Mortgagees and Servicers of FHA, VA, or USDA Loans, available at https://www.hud.gov.