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Skyworks, Ltd. v. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, No. 5:20-CV-2407, 2021 WL 911720 (N.D. Ohio Mar. 10, 2021) is a case of first impression for Ohio. While the Eastern District of Texas in Terkel v. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 6:20-CV-00564, 2021 WL 742877 (E.D. Tex. Feb. 25, 2021), found that the CDC Order to be unconstitutional, Skyworks holds that the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's orders—Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19, 85 Fed. Reg. 55,292 (Sept. 4, 2020) and Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19, 86 Fed. Reg. 8020 (Feb. 3, 2021)—exceed the agency's statutory authority provided in Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. § 264(a), and the regulation at 42 C.F.R. § 70.2 promulgated pursuant to the statute, and are, therefore, invalid.” The Ohio case focuses on statutory authority, while the Texas case focuses on constitutionality.
In 2015, the execution requirements for deeds and other documents affecting title to real property changed. Previously, deeds and these types of title documents could be executed with two witnesses and an acknowledgment by the notary. However, the new law requires two “attesting” witnesses. One of these witnesses must be an “official” witness, which is almost always the notary. The key change is the “attestation” requirement and what this means in practical use.
By its own language, a notary acknowledgment states that the person executing the document only acknowledged to the notary that they signed the document. The usual notary acknowledgment language does not state that the notary actually saw the signor execute the document in their presence. The requirement in Georgia is that the notary must attest, or in plain terms, actually witness the signing of the document for it to be valid and recordable.
FHFA announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) are extending the moratoriums on single-family foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) evictions until June 30, 2021. The foreclosure moratorium applies to Enterprise-backed, single-family mortgages only. The REO eviction moratorium applies to properties that have been acquired by an Enterprise through foreclosure or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transactions. The current moratoriums were set to expire on March 31, 2021.
FHFA also announced that borrowers with a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac may be eligible for an additional three-month extension of COVID-19 forbearance. This additional three-month extension allows borrowers to be in forbearance for up to 18 months. Eligibility for the extension is limited to borrowers who are in a COVID-19 forbearance plan as of February 28, 2021, and other limits may apply. Further, COVID-19 Payment Deferral for borrowers with an Enterprise-backed mortgage can now cover up to 18 months of missed payments. COVID-19 Payment Deferral allows borrowers to repay their missed payments at the time the home is sold, refinanced, or at mortgage maturity.
The Supreme Court of Texas, in PNC Mortgage v. Howard, recently held that the holder of a deed of trust was entitled to foreclose through equitable subrogation, even after the four-year foreclosure statute of limitations had lapsed. Click here to read the opinion.
In 2003, the borrowers purchased a home with loans secured by two purchase-money liens on their property. Two years later, the borrowers refinanced the mortgages with a new loan and paid off the purchase-money mortgages. The note and deed of trust securing the loan were subsequently assigned to and acquired by a new lending entity (“mortgagee”).
In January 2009, the mortgagee notified the borrowers of their default and intent to accelerate the loan, and five months later, accelerated the note. Concurrently, the original lender initiated foreclosure proceedings against the borrowers despite having assigned the loan to the mortgagee, which resulted in a sale of the property.
Biden Administration Announces Extension of COVID-19 Forbearance and Foreclosure Protections for Homeowners
White House Releases Fact Sheet Detailing New Forbearance and Foreclosure Relief Measures for Homeowners and Renters
The coordinated actions announced today by the Biden Administration cover 70 percent of existing single-family home mortgages and will provide the relief noted below. Click here to read the full fact sheet from the White House.
FHFA Extends Foreclosure and REO Evictions Moratoriums and COVID Forbearance Period.
Borrowers can now be in COVID forbearance for up to 15 months
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) are extending the moratoriums on single-family foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) evictions until March 31, 2021. The foreclosure moratorium applies to Enterprise-backed, single-family mortgages only. The REO eviction moratorium applies to properties that have been acquired by an Enterprise through foreclosure or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transactions. The current moratoriums were set to expire on February 28, 2021.
FHFA also announced that borrowers with a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac may be eligible for an additional forbearance extension of up to three months. Eligibility for the extension is limited to borrowers who are on a COVID-19 forbearance plan as of February 28, 2021, and other limits may apply. Further, COVID-19 Payment Deferral for borrowers with an Enterprise-backed mortgage can now cover up to 15 months of missed payments. COVID-19 Payment Deferral allows those borrowers to repay their missed payments at the time the home is sold, refinanced, or at mortgage maturity.
“To keep families in their home during the pandemic, FHFA is allowing borrowers to be in COVID-19 forbearance for up to 15 months and extending the Enterprises' foreclosure and eviction extension," said Director Mark Calabria.
Currently, FHFA projects expenses of $1.5 to $2 billion will be borne by the Enterprises due to the existing COVID-19 foreclosure moratorium and its extension. FHFA continues to monitor the effect of the COVID-19 servicing policies on borrowers, the Enterprises and their counterparties, and the mortgage market. FHFA may extend or sunset its policies based on the data and the health risk.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 11 Federal Home Loan Banks. These government-sponsored enterprises provide more than $6.7 trillion in funding for the U.S. mortgage markets and financial institutions. Additional information is available at www.FHFA.gov, on Twitter, @FHFA, YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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