The moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for FHA loans is extended.

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The Department of Housing and Urban Development has extended a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures on real estate mortgages it insures against default, protecting many first-time homebuyers.

The moratorium will now last until February 28. It was due to expire at the end of the month.

The moratorium on foreclosures applies to mortgages guaranteed by the Federal Home Administration, a division of the Federal Department of Housing. In recent years, FHA guaranteed mortgages have become an important way for first-time homebuyers to acquire a home. The largest underwriters of FHA mortgages have been non-bank lenders who are not affiliated with a major bank.

The HUD also similarly extends the time period for cash-strapped homeowners to request a stay of full mortgage payments for up to six months.

HUD extensions are just the latest efforts by government housing officials to help homeowners. Earlier this month, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, extended the moratorium on foreclosures for home loans guaranteed against default by these two large mortgage finance companies until the end of January.

The stimulus legislation currently being negotiated in Congress is also expected to contain measures to help tenants.


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