Mortgage customers aren’t happy – in fact, the last time they were this unhappy was April 2018 – and they’ve been letting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau know just how they feel, flooding the agency with complaints.
The issue that is getting the most unhappiness is forbearance, closely followed by a mortgage loan modification.
When mortgage forbearance was introduced through the CARES act, it was for twelve months. In February, President Biden directed Federal housing regulators to extend the program for another six months and to also prolong foreclosure relief programs.
Borrowers who entered at the start of the program are getting nervous about what will happen when this period expires. (as is the CFPB – submissions close on 11th May for a proposed “temporary Covid-19 emergency pre-foreclosure review period” which would essentially block mortgage servicers from starting the foreclosure process until after December 31, 2021.)
Even though lenders are trying to help, it appears that the volume of inquiries is causing problems – borrowers are complaining that their mortgage servicers are hard to reach, and they find it difficult to find information about the forbearance programs.
Concerns are that the CFPB may see the need to start to crack down on mortgage loan servicers if borrowers can’t get the information they want in a timely manner – and if servicers aren’t coping now, there is the possibility that things could get a lot worse – soon.
“Emergency protections for homeowners will start to expire later this year and by the fall, a flood of borrowers will need assistance from their servicers,” CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio said last week. “The CFPB is proposing changes to the mortgage servicing rules that will ensure servicers and borrowers have the tools and time to work together to prevent avoidable foreclosures, which disrupt lives, uproot children, and inflict further costs on those least able to bear them.”
As of late March, MBA figures show that around 2.5 million homeowners are in some kind of forbearance program, and despite those figures, around 5% of Americans are delinquent on their home loans at the moment.
Which states have the worst delinquency rates?
New York 8.0%
New Jersey 7.6%