Code of the District of Columbia

§ 42–3191.01. Mortgage relief.

*NOTE: This section was created by temporary legislation that will expire on February 4, 2022.*

*NOTE: This section includes amendments by emergency legislation that will expire on October 22, 2021. To view the text of the temporary legislation that created this section, click this link: Temporary Version.*

(a) In accordance with § 7-2304(b)(15), and notwithstanding any provision of Chapter 11 of Title 26, or any other provision of District law, during the period of time from March 11, 2020, until November 5, 2021, a mortgage lender that makes or holds a residential mortgage loan or commercial mortgage loan in the District shall develop a deferment program for borrowers that, at a minimum:

(1) Grants at least a 90-day deferment of the monthly payment of principal and interest on a mortgage for borrowers;

(2) Waives any late fee, processing fee, or any other fee accrued during the period of time for which the Mayor has declared a public health emergency pursuant to § 7-2304.01; and

(3) Does not report to a credit reporting agency as delinquent the amounts subject to the deferral.

(b) The mortgage lender shall establish application criteria and procedures for borrowers to apply for the deferment program. An application or summary of procedures shall be made available online or by telephone.

(c) The mortgage lender shall approve each application in which a borrower:

(1) Demonstrates to the mortgage lender evidence of a financial hardship resulting directly or indirectly from the public health emergency, including an existing delinquency or future inability to make payments; and

(2) Agrees in writing to pay the deferred payments within:

(A) A reasonable time agreed to in writing by the applicant and the mortgage lender; or

(B) If no reasonable time can be agreed to pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, 3 years from the end of the deferment period, or the end of the original term of the mortgage loan, whichever is earlier.

(d)(1) A mortgage lender who receives an application for deferment pursuant to this section shall retain the application, whether approved or denied, for at least 3 years after final payment is made on the mortgage or the mortgage is sold, whichever occurs first.

(2) Upon request, a mortgage lender shall make an application for deferment available to the Commissioner.

(3)(A)(i) A mortgage lender who approves an application for deferment pursuant to this section shall, on or before June 4, 2020, provide to the Commissioner notice of all approved applications on a form prescribed by the Commissioner.

(ii) After the initial submission prescribed in this paragraph, a mortgage lender who approves an application for deferment pursuant to this section shall provide the Commissioner with a list of all new approvals in 15-day intervals for the duration of the public health emergency and for 60 days thereafter.

(iii) The Commissioner may request information on the number and nature of approvals between 15-day intervals.

(B) The Commissioner shall maintain a publicly available list of approved commercial loan deferral applications. The requirement of this subparagraph may be satisfied by posting to the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking website.

(e) A mortgage lender shall be prohibited from requesting or requiring a lump sum payment from any borrower making payments under a deferred payment program pursuant to this section, subject to investor guidelines.

(f) A person or business whose application for deferment is denied may file a written complaint with the Commissioner. The Commissioner is authorized to investigate the complaint in accordance with § 26-1112.

(g) The provisions of this section shall apply to any lender who makes or holds a commercial mortgage loan in the District, with the exception of national banks and federally chartered credit unions.

(h) To the extent necessary to conform with the provisions of this section, the provisions in § 42-1903.13(c)(1), are waived for the duration of the public health emergency.

(i) This section shall not apply to a property for which, as of March 11, 2020, a mortgage lender initiated a foreclosure action or exercised its right to accelerate the balance and maturity date of the loan on or before March 11, 2020.

(j) This section shall not apply to a mortgage loan that is a federally backed mortgage loan, as that term is defined in section 4022(a)(2) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, approved March 27, 2020 (134 Stat. 490; 15 U.S.C. § 9056(a)(2)) ("CARES Act"), or a federally backed multifamily mortgage loan, as that term is defined in section 4023(f)(2) of the CARES Act (15 U.S.C. § 9057(f)(2)).

(k) A mortgage lender that violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to the penalties prescribed in § 26-1118.

(l) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) "Commercial mortgage loan" means a loan for the acquisition, construction, or development of real property, or a loan secured by collateral in such real property, that is owned or used by a person, business, or entity for the purpose of generating profit, and includes real property used for single-family housing, multifamily housing, retail, office space, and commercial space that is made, owned, or serviced by a mortgage lender.

(2) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking.

(3) "Mortgage lender" means any person that makes a mortgage loan to any person or that engages in the business of servicing mortgage loans for others or collecting or otherwise receiving mortgage loan payments directly from borrowers for distribution to any other person. The term "mortgage lender" does not include the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, the Federal National Mortgage Association, or the Government National Mortgage Association.