We performed an audit of loan servicers’ compliance with the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) requirements for providing loss mitigation assistance to borrowers after their COVID-19 forbearance ended. We initiated the audit based on the large number of borrowers exiting forbearance, because the loss mitigation programs available to these borrowers were new and created a risk for both borrowers and the FHA insurance fund when servicers do not properly provide loss mitigation. Our audit objective was to determine whether servicers provided borrowers of FHA-insured loans proper loss mitigation assistance after the COVID-19 forbearance ended.
Servicers did not provide proper loss mitigation assistance to approximately two-thirds of delinquent borrowers after their COVID-19 forbearance ended. Based on a statistical sample drawn from 231,362 FHA-insured forward loans totaling $41 billion, servicers did not meet HUD requirements for providing loss mitigation assistance to borrowers of 155,297 FHA-insured loans. Nearly half of the borrowers did not receive the correct loss mitigation assistance. These borrowers did not receive the loss mitigation option for which they were eligible, had their loss mitigation option not calculated properly, or received a loss mitigation option that did not reinstate arrearages, which refers to any amount needed to bring the borrower current. Approximately one-quarter of the borrowers received the correct loss mitigation option, but servicers did not follow COVID-19 loss mitigation guidance to help borrowers with payments that were missed during forbearance.
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