Fannie Mae Launches ‘Here to Help’ Education Effort

The Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly known as Fannie Mae has announced the launching of its “Here to Help” campaign.

According to a press release, the campaign will assist U.S. homeowners and renters with tools and resources to navigate the available financial options related to the coronavirus.

“Fannie Mae is committed to providing sustainable housing options to help keep people in their homes,” Hugh R. Frater, CEO, Fannie Mae said in a released statement. “We hope Here to Help will bring some clarity, transparency, and assurance to homeowners and renters who are facing job loss, reduction in work hours, illness, or other issues related to COVID-19.”

As a resource, Fannie Mae has created the “Here to Help” online portal. The portal features informative videos, fact sheets, mortgage loan and apartment rental lookup tools, to assist homeowners and renters with information to navigate their options. The portal will also assist mortgage servicers and lenders with explanations and guidelines concerning forbearance, repayment options, and training videos for loan servicers.

“We are committed to putting people first, helping Americans stay in their homes, helping customers stay in business, and ensuring that the nation’s mortgage and housing markets remain strong,” Frater said in the release.

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S., Fannie Mae has suspended foreclosures and evictions as well as extended eviction protections to multifamily renters.

As the coronavirus pandemic lingers on, renters, lawmakers, and tenants rights organizations across the country have called for rent freezes. Instead, many lawmakers, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have frozen eviction proceedings.

Many owners have also worked out deals with tenants, understanding why they can’t pay.

However, the housing market could come crashing down soon in many areas. If renters cannot pay their rent to a landlord, then homeowners cannot pay their mortgages to the bank and tax bills to their cities and states.

The commercial real estate market in New York is an example.

Many commercial owners have not been paid rent as offices and storefronts have been forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, a July 1 deadline for property tax bills looms in New York City and lawmakers have yet to postpone the deadline.

If property owners cannot make the payments, “the city will be starved of an enormous revenue stream that helps pay for all aspects of everyday life, from the fire department to trash pickup to the public hospitals,” the New York Times wrote.