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COVID-19: Biden administration to provide extended mortgage relief

July 23 (UPI) -- The Biden administration on Friday announced new aid for some homeowners as COVID-19-related mortgage forbearance programs wind down in the coming weeks.

The White House will allow certain borrowers to extend the terms of their mortgages, while others will be allowed to make reduced payments.

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"The Biden-Harris Administration recognizes the financial hardship families are still feeling as a result of the pandemic," Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge said of the new pandemic relief.

A foreclosure moratorium and mortgage forbearance were put in place last year by the Trump administration to help homeowners adversely affected by the economic effects of COVID-19. Within about two months of the start of the pandemic, more than 4 million Americans were past due on their mortgages.

The Biden administration extended those relief measures, with the foreclosure moratorium set to expire July 31 and the forbearance enrollment window closing Sept. 30. With those measures ending in the coming months as the economy begins to rebound, the White House said it's offering new relief for those still having trouble making payments.

Homeowners with mortgages backed by a federal agency -- HUD, the Department of Agriculture or the Department of Veterans Affairs -- may have their monthly principal and interest payments reduced by about 25%. Those who can't resume making payments may also have their home loans extended to 360 months at the market rate.

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