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GOOD NEWS: HECM Borrowers in Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico Get More Time To Pay Their FHA Loans

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WASHINGTON — The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced earlier this month that the Federal Housing Administration would be extending the foreclosure moratorium for Hurricane Maria victims in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

The extension previously dealt only with forward borrowers, but HUD and the FHA are now extending the foreclosure moratorium for Home Equity Conversion Mortgage borrowers as well.

Originally, the FHA told lenders and servicers to suspend foreclosures on the islands for 180 days, but the FHA later added 60 days onto the foreclosure moratorium due to the “extensive damage and continuing needs in these hard-hit territories.”

That pushed the foreclosure freeze out until May 18, 2018.

And Monday, HUD announced that the HECM foreclosure moratorium is also extended until May 18, 2018.

“Today, the Federal Housing Administration announced that due to the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has exercised its authority to extend foreclosure timelines through May 18, 2018, for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages on impacted properties in those Presidentially-Declared Major Disaster Areas,” HUD said in a message to lenders and servicers.

According to HUD, the extension is applicable only to “those counties declared eligible for Individual Assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

HUD added that the freeze applies to “both the initiation of foreclosures and foreclosures already in process on HECMs that become due and payable for reasons other than the death of the last surviving borrower and eligible non-borrowing spouse.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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