Pub. 11 2020 Issue 4 26 West Virginia Banker By Nicholas P. Mooney II and Angela L. Beblo, Spilman Thomas & Battle Six Ways the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Changed the Delivery of Financial Services T he COVID-19 pandemic has touched virtually every facet of life. It isn’t surprising that it also has changed the way banks deliver financial services to their customers. Below are six ways the pandemic is reshaping banking. Forbearance and related debt relief. The CARES Act, passed in March 2020, provided protections to borrowers with federally backed mortgages. Those include mortgages held or backed by the Federal Housing Administration, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the United States Department of Agri- culture, the Federal National Mortgage Association (also known as Fannie Mae), and the Federal Home Loan Mort- gage Corporation (commonly known as Freddie Mac). There are two important aspects of the CARES Act with respect to mortgages: First, servicers and lenders are prohibited from foreclos- ing from March 18, 2020, until Dec. 31, 2020. This includes both judicial and non-judi- cial foreclosures. Further, it includes any foreclosure in process on March 18, 2020, as lenders and servicers are prohibited from finalizing any foreclosure judgment or sale. This is a mandatory provi- sion, and there are no steps a homeowner must take to obtain this relief. 1