Joint Letters Remind Landlords And Mortgage Servicers To Adhere To The CARES Act & Additional Legal Requirements Under The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
On December 20, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) and U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued two joint letters regarding important legal housing protections for military families.
One letter was sent to landlords and other housing providers regarding protections for military tenants. A second letter was sent to mortgage servicers regarding military borrowers who have already exited or will be exiting COVID-19 mortgage forbearance programs in the coming weeks and months.
The letter to landlords and other housing providers reminds property owners of the important housing protections for military tenants, some of whom may have had to relocate or make other changes to their housing arrangements in response to the crisis. While military families enjoy the same legal protections and privileges afforded to all other homeowners and tenants, they also have additional housing protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which is enforceable by the DOJ and servicemembers themselves.
The letter to mortgage servicers comes in response to complaints from military families and veterans on a range of potential mortgage servicing violations, including inaccurate credit reporting, misleading communications to borrowers, and required lump sum payments for reinstating their mortgage loans. These complaints are being reviewed for compliance by the CFPB with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and other applicable requirements.
The CFPB and DOJ are calling on mortgage servicers and landlords to ensure that military homeowners and tenants are safeguarded during the pandemic and benefit equally from the Nation’s economic recovery.