GSEs push online coronavirus relief education out to consumers
Both government-sponsored enterprises launched online education efforts to provide guidance to borrowers and renters that were affected by the coronavirus.
Fannie Mae updated its knowyouroptions.com website and developed a new program, "Here to Help," which in addition to informing borrowers, provides mortgage servicers and lenders with tools so they can better assist their customers. This includes clear explanations of forbearance and repayment options after forbearance and training videos for loan servicers.
Knowyouroptions.com was rolled out during the housing crisis, in August 2010.
"As a result of the pandemic, many people are wondering how they're going to pay their mortgage or their rent," said Danielle McCoy, Fannie Mae vice president and fair lending officer. "We wanted to revamp that website, for those people who are impacted by COVID-19, [so that they] know their options, from a reliable source of information, in an easy to navigate presentation."
Meanwhile, Freddie Mac relaunched MyHome by Freddie Mac, a consumer education website that provides a comprehensive guide to owning, renting and getting help in multiple languages.
"While we have taken unprecedented action to help millions of owners and renters struggling due to this pandemic, our efforts cannot be fully effective without widespread awareness," Freddie Mac CEO David Brickman said in a press release. "Our online tools are designed to ensure those affected are aware of their options so they can get the help they need now."
MyHome originally was unveiled in 2015.
As part of the program, Freddie Mac launched #HelpStartsHere, a portion of the site that provides resources for borrowers and servicers. It includes an interactive experience designed to help homeowners assess their options related to COVID-19.
Freddie Mac also now offers a rental property look-up tool, which allows tenants to determine if they are protected by the eviction moratorium called for by the CARES Act.
For renters who are struggling to pay their rent, the company has also launched a renter helpline where HUD-certified housing counselors provide free counseling.