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Ben Carson, Rick Scott

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Ben Carson promises Rick Scott foreclosure moratorium will continue into May

HUD won’t allow foreclosures or evictions on FHA-backed loans right now.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson assured Sen. Rick Scott his agency will halt evictions and foreclosures through mid-May.

HUD officials released a readout of a Tuesday phone call between the Cabinet member and Florida’s junior Senator.

The two initially discussed the importance of Presidential guidelines for reducing the spread of coronavirus. Florida on Tuesday saw COVID-19 cases rise to 6,741 and deaths climb to 85.

But the two also discussed economic consequences of the global pandemic.

Scott has stressed the need to ease fears of Floridians afraid of losing their homes. He called earlier this month for a complete moratorium on rent, mortgage payments, fees and utility payments.

He reiterated that Friday as part of a 30-day plan to return to normalcy.

“We won’t forget the companies that provided relief for their customers and did their part to help those struggling to make ends meet,” Scott said then.

Carson hasn’t gone so far as to call on a suspension of rent and mortgage payments.

But HUD has issued a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for all Federal Housing Administration-insured single-family mortgages. That 60-day stop on such activities began on March 18 and continues until May 17.

“Secretary Carson and Senator Scott agreed that no American should fear losing their home because of the coronavirus,” the readout states.

The HUD moratorium implements an executive order issued by President Donald Trump.

FHA loans are designed to help low- and middle-income borrowers, requiring lower down payments and credit ratings for individuals to utilize the program.

Homeowners can only pull such loans for less than $331,760 in most Florida counties, according to Florida Home Funding. Typically, debt-to-income ratios cannot exceed 45% of a buyer’s gross income.

Carson and Scott committed to working together to combat the “invisible enemy” of COVID-19.

The conversation took place on March 31, a day before many homeowners are expected to pay April mortgage payments.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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