Find Mortgage Relief Policies and Options by Servicer
Coronavirus COVID-19 guidance for mortgage forbearance, loan deferment, and mortgage relief programs are being defined and updated on an almost daily basis right now. The information on this site is curated from Government and other lending authority sources to guide families to the most accurate and up to date information available. Click on your servicer for more information.
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Am I Eligible for a COVID-19 Payment Deferral Repayment Option?
EFFECTIVE: June 1st, 2020: On May 13th, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced a collaborative effort to help homeowners in forbearance return to normal monthly mortgage payment as soon as you are able to.
The COVID-19 Payment Deferral repayment option is available to any homeowner whose loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Your Servicer can tell you whether or not your loan is owned by Fannie or Freddie, or you can use these Lookup Tools:
Once you've confirmed that your loan is eligible, It's important that you have a conversation with your servicer about what information they need from you to grant the deferral.
Read this article: It breaks down everything you need to know about the new COVID-19 Payment Deferral option.
Monitor Your Credit: Reporting late payments during forbearance is not allowed under the CARES Act. Trust but Verify. You should use a secure credit monitoring service to protect yourself against reporting inaccuracies by your lender or servicer.
Documenting Ability to Pay: The COVID-19 Payment Deferral repayment option does not specifically require you to provide documentation to prove that you experienced financial hardship.
You should be prepared to provide income documentation to show that your hardship has been resolved and you have the ability to continue making your regular monthly payments.
ForbearanceReport.org has partnered with FinLocker to offer you a safe, secure, and FREE service to help you monitor your credit, and store your personal financial documentation so you can easily share with your lender.
FHFA Purchase or Refinance Guidelines After Forbearance
On May 19th, 2020, FHFA announced temporary eligibility requirements for purchase and refinance loans after Forbearance. Your current mortgage does not have to be a Conventional loan to qualify for this special program.
To be eligible, you must have reinstated your loan, which means are no longer in forbearance and meet the waiting period guidelines. You must also qualify for a Conventional mortgage underwritten using Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac automated underwriting system.
There is NO Waiting Period if you were in forbearance and never skipped a payment. You cannot currently be in forbearance to qualify for this temporary refinance exception.
Regardless of what kind of loan you currently have, you can use a Conventional mortgage using Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac underwriting guidelines to buy a new home, or refinance your current home after Forbearance.
Once your loan is reinstated and back in good standing, you must make 3 consecutive on-time payments before you are eligible to buy or refinance using a Conventional loan.
If you were granted a COVID-19 forbearance because you were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and unable to make your regular monthly payments, you may still be eligible for this special Conventional purchase or refinance loan.
The first step is to remove your mortgage from forbearance. If your loan is currently a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan, you may be able to use the COVID-19 Payment Deferral repayment option to re-start your regular monthly payments.
Once you begin making your regular monthly payments or enter into a repayment plan to catch up with skipped payments, you only need to make 3 on-time payments to be eligible for this program.
Frequently Asked Questions
Recent guidance by FHFA and HUD has clarified that if you have a Federally backed loan, all skipped payments ARE NOT required to be paid back at once.
Servicers of non-Federally backed mortgages (approximately 30% of all mortgages) are encouraged to follow FHFA guidelines.
A new federal law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, puts in place two protections for homeowners with federally backed mortgages:
- A foreclosure moratorium
- A right to forbearance for homeowners who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency
If you don’t have a federally backed mortgage, you still may have relief options through your mortgage servicer or from your state.
No, You Must Contact Your Servicer - It is important that if you believe you will be unable to make your mortgage payments on time that you contact your servicer immediately and apply for mortgage payment relief.
If you do not make a payment on your mortgage and assume that it is not due because of the crisis, it will be reported as missed on your credit report and may impact your ability to take advantage of other options in the future.
Forbearance IS NOT Payment Forgiveness. Any skipped payments will be paid back in full as determined by the terms of the mortgage relief program offered by your servicer.
Please contact your servicer if you are unable to make your mortgage payments for a period of time. They will tell you what options are available for repaying any payments skipped during Forbearance.
Forbearance is when your mortgage servicer or lender allows you to temporarily pay your mortgage at a lower payment or pause paying your mortgage. You will have to pay the payment reduction or paused payments back later.
The CARES Act suggests that an initial forbearance period of 180 days, with the ability to extend to 360 days if you are still experiencing financial hardship.
From the feedback we are getting from consumers, the most common forbearance program is 90 days, with the ability to extend to 180+ days on a case by case and servicer by servicer basis.
Remember, these payments WILL be paid back. Please make sure you get all repayment or reinstatement terms in writing to avoid surprises in the future.
If you can pay your mortgage, pay your mortgage.
If you cannot pay your mortgage, or can only pay a portion, contact your mortgage servicer immediately.
Don’t call your mortgage servicer if you aren’t facing an immediate issue.
Mortgage servicers are getting a lot of calls and need to first help those who won’t be able to pay their mortgage. Check your servicer's website first to see what hardship relief options are available if you should need help.
Any homeowner who has suffered financial hardship including job loss, furlough, or reduced hours due to Coronavirus and cannot afford to cover their mortgage payment can consider applying for a forbearance period.
If there are other expenses that can be eliminated to offset reduced household income, those should be explored first.
A house is a homeowner’s biggest financial resource and protecting that is essential during economic hardships.
If your hardship has improved, you will need to bring the loan current, which is known as reinstatement. If you do not have the ability to pay the full amount owed at the time of reinstatement, you will need to work with your loan servicer to establish a repayment plan.
If you fail to meet the obligations of the repayment plan, you can apply for a loan modification. A loan modification is often the last resort but eases the financial burden by folding the delinquent payments owed into the loan amount.
You should always call your loan servicer directly to find out what options are available to you. The CARES Act only provides guidelines, but that does not necessarily reflect what will be offered to or approved for every homeowner.
Your mortgage servicer is the company that you send your mortgage payments to each month.
If you don’t know or can’t remember who currently services your mortgage, there are several ways to find out, including looking at your mortgage statement for contact information.
You can also lookup your servicer using this link to the MERS ServicerID website.
FHFA Announcement: Borrowers are eligible to refinance or buy a new home if they are current on their mortgage (i.e. in forbearance but continued to make their mortgage payments or reinstated their mortgage).
Borrowers are eligible to refinance or buy a new home three months after their forbearance ends and they have made three consecutive payments under their repayment plan, or payment deferral option or loan modification.
This applies to all Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Loans.
In the opinion of mortgage experts, the better option is to allow homeowners access to their equity to repay skipped payments. There are rumors in the industry that this option may be considered.
Most servicers are not charging interest or late charges on deferred payments and will not report those payments as missed to the credit bureaus.
It is important to have this conversation with your servicer and get the terms in writing.
Loan forbearance and loan deferment are two different options that homeowners who are facing hardship can consider, but there are significant differences between the two. As outlined above, during a mortgage loan forbearance, payments are due in full when the forbearance period ends unless another payment option is agreed to with your loan servicer. Typically, a forbearance period will not exceed 12 months at a time and interest will continue to accrue during the temporary forbearance period.
A mortgage loan deferment is the delaying of payments for a defined period of time due to extenuating circumstances and is often used as a final step to avoid foreclosure. Deferment options are not available from all servicers, which can be more difficult to qualify for and may require more detailed documentation during the deferment evaluation process. During a loan deferment, a borrower delays their mortgage payments, including principal and interest, to a later date. The loan balance will be due on either the mortgage maturity date, the pay-off date or upon the sale of the property – whichever option comes first.
The length of the loan term and the payment schedule will remain the same, but the deferment period may vary based on deferment type. Each loan servicer may have multiple deferment types and since these vary from servicer to servicer, homeowners will need to contact their specific servicer to review the options available to them. Additionally, a deferment period can last up to a few years and during the deferment period, interest on the mortgage loan will not accrue. Similar to forbearance, servicers may not approve all deferment requests and they can be more difficult to qualify for.
Besides forbearance and deferment, servicers may also provide other options for homeowners experiencing hardship, such as loan modifications or repayment plans. Those options will vary from lender to lender and case by case and may require additional financial documentation from your bank or other sources to prove financial hardship in order to qualify.
As long as your mortgage payments are made within the outlined time of the forbearance period, there will be no negative impact on credit history.
However, homeowners who are only reacting to news headlines and assuming that all mortgage payments are delayed may see a negative impact on their credit if a forbearance period is not applied for and mortgage payments are missed.
Additionally, there could be further credit implications on credit score and history that are unforeseen at this time.
Because there is a lack of reporting from credit agencies about the potential impact of forbearances, homeowners should do everything they can to make their monthly mortgage payments as planned and only apply for a forbearance or deferment as a last resort.
Foreclosures for federally-backed loans, including eligible loans held by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA, and USDA are temporarily halted. It is also critical that you contact your loan servicer to discuss additional available options and the coordinating foreclosure halt time periods associated with them.
Because forbearance can be different from one servicer to the next, your servicer may have different requirements.
In order to apply for a forbearance agreement, some homeowners may need to prove how COVID-19 impacted their ability to make mortgage payments.
Other servicers may only require that you sign an affidavit stating that you have been impacted by the coronavirus.
Homeowners should contact their servicer for more details on what should be provided.
Yes. You can cancel your forbearance plan at any time. Just remember that when the forbearance plan ends, all payments missed during the forbearance plan will be due.
Valuable Homeowner Tools & Resources
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Please visit our site for details about how your membership makes a difference!
The key to recovering gracefully, or stronger than before is to carefully plan your next step.
FinLocker is offering homeowners a free financial locker that securely allows you to view, track, and monitor your financial health in real-time, including; income, expenses, real estate, and investments.
If required for getting your mortgage back in good standing after forbearance, sending important financial information to your lender or servicer securely is push-button easy using your financial locker.
Additional tools in this locker will help you to budget and plan your path carefully.
Forbearance News, Articles, Updates & Resources
How Forbearance Impacts Mortgage Brokers and Homeowners - Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME)
Guide to coronavirus mortgage relief options - Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (cfpb)
What is mortgage forbearance - Consumer Finacial Protection Bureau (cfpb)
KnowYourOptions - Forbearance - Fannie Mae
How to Get Help With Your Mortgage During the Coronavirus Pandemic - Consumer Reports
State and Local Governments are Passing Laws to Protect Homeowners Not Covered Under the CARES Act. We will list these as we hear of them.