What Is Forbearance?
Mortgage forbearance can provide temporary relief for borrowers willing but unable to make loan payments. During forbearance, loan payments remain due, but the servicer can permit suspended or reduced mortgage payments for a limited period of time. Forbearance does not erase what you owe! At the conclusion of the forbearance relief period, regular loan payments will resume, and borrowers must work with their mortgage servicer to establish a plan to repay the delinquent mortgage payments.
How Do I Find Out If I'm Eligible For Forbearance?
You must contact your loan servicer to request forbearance. Depending on the kind of loan you have, there may be different forbearance options.
Who Is My Loan Servicer?
Your mortgage loan servicer is the company to which you send your house payments every month. To find out who this is, check your mortgage statement or follow the links below for guidance and contact information.
How Do I Request Mortgage Forbearance?
If you experience financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic, you may have a right to an initial COVID hardship forbearance of up to 180 days. You also may have the right to one or more extensions of that forbearance. If your loan is backed by HUD/FHA, USDA, or VA, the deadline for requesting an initial forbearance is June 30, 2021. If your loan is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, there is not currently a deadline for requesting an initial forbearance. Forbearance is not automatic, you must contact your loan servicer to request forbearance.
Once you've determined who your loan servicer is, ask them if your mortgage is covered by the CARES Act. Homeowners with FHA-insured single family mortgages may be eligible for additional COVID-19 mortgage relief. Your servicer will discuss any options with you. If your servicer confirms that your loan is not covered under the CARES Act, they are generally still required to discuss relief options with you. Follow the links below to learn how COVID-19 impacts the process of requesting forbearance, how to prepare for the conversation with your servicer, and important steps to take after you receive forbearance.
- What You Should Know About Forbearance and COVID-19
- How to Request Mortgage Forbearance
- What to Do After You Receive Forbearance
How Do I Extend My Forbearance?
If you entered into forbearance under the CARES Act and are still facing financial hardship because of the pandemic, you are entitled to ask for and receive an extension. Borrowers with a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac may be eligible for an additional three-month extension of COVID-19 forbearance. This additional three-month extension allows borrowers to be in forbearance for up to 18 months. Eligibility for the extension is limited to borrowers who are in a COVID-19 forbearance plan as of February 28, 2021, and other limits may apply.
Further, COVID-19 Payment Deferral for borrowers with qualifying mortgages can now cover up to 18 months of missed payments. COVID-19 Payment Deferral allows borrowers to repay their missed payments at the time the home is sold, refinanced, or at mortgage maturity.
Extensions and/or deferrals are not automatic and you'll need to talk with your mortgage servicer about your eligibility. Learn more about mortgage relief options and protections here.
What If I'm Not Eligible For Forbearance?
If you don't qualify for mortgage forbearance, there may be other relief available. Talk with your servicer about any alternatives that may be available to you given your specific circumstances. You will also find helpful information in the Homeowner's Guide to Success: What to Do If You Can't Pay Your Mortgage.
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