This guidance addresses concerns about mortgage servicer practices involving military service members who receive Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders.
Joint guidance issued by: the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Effective date: June 21, 2012
Servicers of loans borrowed by military members receiving Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders must:
- provide accurate and clear information on assistance available to them, including assistance programs under:
- the Making Home Affordable Program;
- Fannie Mae;
- Freddie Mac;
- the Federal Housing Administration (FHA);
- the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); and
- the Department of Agriculture-Rural Development (USDA-RD);
- provide a reasonable way for homeowners with PCS orders to check on the status of their request for assistance; and
- timely provide their decision regarding assistance requests to homeowners with PCS orders, and include an explanation if they deny assistance.
Servicers may not:
- ask homeowners with PCS orders to waive their foreclosure moratorium rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) or any other law as a condition of providing or evaluating the homeowner for assistance; or
- advise homeowners with PCS orders who are current on their loans to intentionally skip their payments to create the illusion of financial distress in order to qualify for assistance programs.
A servicer who fails to adhere to these guidelines or commits any other unfair, deceptive or abusive acts will be subject to discipline by one or more of the responsible agencies, and required to strengthen its programs and processes to comply with these guidelines.