Q: Under the CARES Act, is there a requirement that furnishers provide accommodations to consumers impacted by the pandemic?
A: The CARES Act requires accommodations for two specific types of loans. First, consumers with a Federally backed mortgage loan (as that term is defined in the CARES Act) may obtain a forbearance from their mortgage servicer upon request and the borrower’s attestation of a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency. Second, the CARES Act provides automatic suspension of principal and interest payments on Federally held student loans through September 30, 2020. Even if accommodations are not required by the CARES Act or by other applicable law, the Bureau and other Federal and State agencies have encouraged financial institutions in prior guidance to work constructively with borrowers who are or may be unable to meet their contractual payment obligations because of the effects of COVID-19.