Color of Money: CFPB Keeps Pressure on Mortgage Companies to Help Distressed Homeowners |

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With homeowners now facing yet another crisis, this time brought on by a pandemic, things are better, says Bruce Marks, chief executive and founder of NACA.

Brands should know. He saw the worst of the housing crisis and was very critical of the response borrowers were getting from their mortgage agents. Marks knew then, as he does now, that mortgage agents are essential in helping borrowers when they can’t pay their mortgages.

This time around, the government was quick to push companies to get people to pass forbearance plans without the hassle and heartache that was standard procedure during the housing crisis, Marks said. The sooner the problem is solved, the more likely people are to keep their home.

“I think repairers have learned a lesson from the last mortgage crisis,” Marks said in an interview. “They realized it was a failure to make changes to the old fashioned way, in which the monthly payments would go up. I’m cynical about banks, and I’m cynical about waiters. But I have to say that, for the most part, this is good news.

Under the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act), borrowers with federally guaranteed loans can apply for an initial forbearance of up to 180 days. If further relief was required, they were entitled to a 180-day extension. Interest still accrues, but fees and penalties are waived. The Biden administration has extended the forbearance registration window to September 30.

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