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District of Columbia

These resources – like the public health crisis itself – are constantly evolving and are only current as to the date of publication. This page was last updated on September 3, 2020.

For more up-to-date information on the relief programs available in the District of Columbia, we recommend that you visit D.C.'s COVID-19 Recovery Resources or Food Resources.

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Description of Program and Relief

Owners’ Rights, Mortgage Payments, and Foreclosure Relief

As part of the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020, D.C. has required mortgage lenders to develop and implement a deferment program for residential and commercial mortgage borrowers, which offers a 90-day deferment program, permanently waives any late or processing fees during the public health emergency, and prohibits reporting any delinquency to a credit bureau. Mortgage lenders must also comply with reporting requirements, details can be found here.

Specifically, the COVID-19 Response Supplemental Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 outlines the mortgage deferral program—Section 202(b), as now amended, requires mortgage lenders that make or hold servicing rights to a residential or commercial mortgage under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner of the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking to develop a program to grant 90-day or longer deferrals of mortgage principal and interest payments to borrowers due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Relatedly, this Amendment allows residential tenants to request rent deferrals from landlords receiving said mortgage deferrals. Specifically, under Section 202(g), as now amended, a borrower that receives a Section 202 deferral for a mortgage on a property that has a tenant must reduce the rent charged on the property to a “qualifying tenant” during the period of time the forbearance is in place. A “qualified tenant” is a person that (1) has notified the landlord of its inability to pay all or a portion of its rent due as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency and (2) is a tenant on property owned or controlled by one who has received a mortgage deferral under Section 202. The rent reduction the borrower provides the tenant must be proportional to the deferred mortgage amount paid by the borrower to the mortgage lender as a percentage of total expenses reported in the borrower’s 2019 Income and Expense report provided to the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue. The borrower may require the tenant to repay the difference in the amount of the rent stated in the lease and the reduced rent, without interest or fees, within 18 months, or on cessation of the tenancy, whichever occurs first. The signed Act can be found here.

On May 5, 2020 the Council passed additional emergency legislation (the Foreclosure Moratorium Emergency Amendment Act of 2020) that expands on the protections previously provided by banning foreclosures for non-payment of mortgages, and banning foreclosures from being initiated for conducted, in the case of a residential mortgage and residential condominium units, while the public health emergency is in effect.

Please note that the foreclosure moratorium does not relieve a mortgagee of its obligations to make mortgage payments.

Government or Lead Agency

Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking

Dates Available

N/A

Eligibility Requirements/Restrictions

Section 202 of the Act sets forth mortgage relief provisions that apply to mortgage lenders that make or hold residential or commercial mortgage loans under the jurisdiction of the DISB.

Application Deadlines (If Applicable)

N/A

Contact for More Information

Please call the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking between 8:15 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. at (202) 727-8000 or email the Department’s Banking Bureau at mortgagerelief@dc.gov.

List of Additional Information

For more information click here.


© 2021 Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. This does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. In some jurisdictions, this publication may be considered attorney advertising. Past representations are no guarantee of future outcomes.

© 2021 Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

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