The Council of the District of Columbia Approves Emergency Bill Expanding Foreclosure Protections

On March 3, 2020, the Council of the District of Columbia approved an emergency bill amending certain portions of the Housing Finance Agency Act to extend the Agency’s Reverse Mortgage Insurance and Tax Payment Program (ReMIT). ReMIT is a pilot program crafted to address seniors facing foreclosure on a reverse mortgage by providing subsidy payments (up to $25,000) to help address unpaid property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. The program originally ran for 12 months (set to end on March 31, 2020), and in that time reportedly prevented 12 households from having their residence foreclosed.

The Reverse Mortgage Insurance and Tax Payment Program Emergency Amended Act of 2020 extends the ReMIT program for another six months (through September), and adds condominium fees and homeowners association fees as obligations the program could address. The new expansion is not anticipated to add costs, since there are still excess funds available from the original program.

The bill has been sent to Mayor Muriel Bowser for review. The Mayor, who has already indicated her approval of this bill, has 10 days to either sign the bill, allow the bill to pass without her signature, or veto the bill. Once signed, Congress then has 30 days to consider the bill and choose whether to enact a joint resolution disapproving of it, which would be sent to the President of the United States. If no joint resolution disapproving of the bill has been approved by the President within the review period, the bill becomes law.