SCRA provides protection and relief to civilians who incur a mortgage debt and subsequently enter military service, including members of the National Guard who are called to active duty by federal authorities. Fannie Mae’s military indulgence policy covers those servicemembers entitled to relief under SCRA as well as members of the National Guard or other state-supported military unit who are called to active duty by a state governor and entitled to state-mandated relief. The relief generally begins when the individual reports for active duty and ends a period of time after he or she is separated from active duty. The servicer must grant relief in compliance with applicable law (see Selling Guide A3-2-01, Compliance with Laws).
This topic contains the following:
Before granting any military indulgence (which includes any protection afforded to a servicemember by applicable law), the servicer must document the servicemember’s active duty orders using (i) Fannie Mae’s Request for Military Indulgence (Form 180) or (ii) other sources (such as a report certifying the active duty status for a servicemember from the Defense Manpower Data Center, an organization within the Department of Defense) and other forms such as the Mortgage Assistance Application (Form 710), or equivalent, to document financial and hardship information. While use of Form 180 is optional, it reflects the minimum level of information the servicer must obtain to verify the servicemember’s active duty orders, unless the servicemember is requesting assistance in addition to the assistance that is required under the SCRA.
The servicer should contact the eligible servicemember or his or her family, at a minimum, every three months to determine when his or her active duty status will end.
The servicer must waive any late charges that became due after the servicemember was called to active duty.
If the servicemember receives a military indulgence forbearance in accordance with applicable law, the servicer must consider the mortgage loan to be current as long as the servicemember remits the amount, if any, required in accordance with the terms of the military indulgence forbearance.
The servicer must grant an eligible servicemember a reduction in the interest rate to 6% in accordance with the provisions of the SCRA; provided, however, that the servicer must not exercise the option provided by the SCRA to apply to a court for relief from reducing the interest rate to 6% if the servicer is of the opinion that the servicemember’s ability to pay interest at a rate in excess of 6% per year is not materially affected by reason of the servicemember’s military service. The servicer should make the new interest rate effective with the first payment due after the servicemember (i) enters active duty or (ii) is entitled to the new interest rate under the SCRA.
If the servicemember is unable to make the full monthly payment after the interest rate is reduced to 6%, see Chapter D2-3, Fannie Mae’s Home Retention and Liquidation Workout Options for additional information on workout options that may be available. In addition to reducing the interest rate to 6%, the servicer must reapply any prepaid monthly payments with due dates during the period of active duty at the 6% interest rate. If the servicemember fails to notify the servicer when he or she enters active duty status, but subsequently provides evidence of the active duty status, the servicer must reapply any monthly payments made during the period of active duty at the 6% interest rate. Installments that are delinquent when the servicemember enters active duty status must be paid at the interest rate that was in effect when the payments came due. The servicer must provide the following options to the servicemember regarding the treatment of any remaining funds after any reapplication:
application as a monthly payment, if sufficient;
application as a principal curtailment; or
a refund to the servicemember.
The servicer must follow the procedures in Determining the Monthly Mortgage Payment Amount for calculating the monthly payment amount during and after the servicemember’s active duty and in Determining the Servicing Fee Amount for calculating the servicing fee in F-1-20, Processing Military Indulgence. The servicer must provide written correspondence to the servicemember that indicates the new payment amount, the date it becomes effective, and the date it will be discontinued and the servicemember is not required to execute any document to reflect the reduced interest rate attributable to the military indulgence.
The servicer must attempt to ascertain the military status of the mortgagor(s) before initiating foreclosure proceedings and must comply with specific state or local laws that address the effect of the SCRA on the foreclosure process, or that impose other restrictions or limitations on foreclosure for servicemembers.
The servicer must stay any foreclosure proceedings that were already in process or postpone the initiation of foreclosure proceedings against a servicemember eligible for military indulgence. The servicer must also provide a 12–month extended stay of foreclosure and other legal proceedings from the date on which military service ends. The servicer must not attempt to obtain the eligible servicemember’s written consent or petition the court to continue or commence foreclosure proceedings.