The CARES Act stimulus package requires servicers to provide forbearance — a temporary postponement of payments — to any homeowner with a federally-backed mortgage. Borrowers with federally backed mortgage loans—loans under Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can request forbearance on their payments for up to six months. Borrowers must submit a request to their servicer and affirm that they’re experiencing financial hardship during the crisis. Additionally, no foreclosures or evictions from properties with federally backed mortgages can occur during this period. During the mortgage forbearance period, interest will still accrue. However, additional fees, penalties or extra interest cannot be added to mortgages.
If you're facing a short-term financial hardship and need temporary assistance with your mortgage, your lender may offer you a "forbearance." With this option, your lender temporarily reduces or suspends your mortgage payments for up to 6-12 months while you get back on your feet.
Forbearance may make sense if you:
- Are facing a short-term financial hardship.
- Think you may fall behind on your mortgage payments, or have already missed one or two payments.
- Forbearance is often combined with a reinstatement or a repayment plan to pay off the missed or reduced mortgage payments when your financial situation has stabilized.
To qualify for forbearance, a borrower must have a mortgage backed by one of the following federal agencies:
- Fannie Mae
- Freddie Mac
- The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Be prepared to answer some questions
You don’t need to provide documentation to prove your financial hardship at this time, but your servicer may have some questions to determine how much assistance they will offer you. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggests being prepared to answer the following:
- Why you can’t make your payments?
- Is the problem you are facing temporary or permanent?
- What is the current state of your income, expenses and other assets, including money in the bank?
- Are you a service member with permanent change of station orders?
HUD Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling Map
HUD provides the ability to choose your state, then lists, for selected state, foreclosure prevention counseling services. These are provided free of charge by nonprofit housing counseling agencies working in partnership with the federal government. Most states have many agencies listed, all with a URL, phone number and email (or some combination thereof). Click here for the HUD map.
Americans with other mortgages may also be able to receive forbearance at their servicers’ discretion. Remember, you can only get forbearance from the lender who currently owns your loan. If your loan has been sold, that is the institution you need to speak to. Here is a list of most of the major lenders in the U.S with their relevant contact information.
Ally Bank Ally has announced it will allow existing mortgage customers to defer payments without charges. Contact the bank for more information. 866-401-4742
Wells Fargo Wells Fargo has said it will suspend residential property foreclosure sales, and evictions and involuntary, but please contact the bank for programs that apply to your specific situation. 800-678-7986
Quicken Loans 800-251-9080 Website
JPMorgan Chase 800-848-9380 Website
Bank of America Bank of America has announced an official deferment plan. Effective March 19, the bank will pause foreclosure sales, evictions and repossessions. Please check with the bank for more details. 800-669-6650 Website
United Wholesale Mortgage 469-322-3899 Website
Loan Depot 888-983-3240 Website
U.S. Bank U.S. Bank is offering mortgage assistance programs that may allow customers to suspend payments for up to 180 days with no late fees. 800-365-7900 Website
Caliber Home Loans 800-401-6587 Website
Fairway Independent Mortgage 800-201-7544 (Customer service)
Flagstar Bank 800-393-4887 Website
PennyMac 800-569-4287 Website
Guild Mortgage 800-365-4884 Website
Citi 866-272-4749 Website
Fifth Third 866-351-5353 Website
PNC 800-523-8654 Website
Sun Trust 800.443.1032 Website
Mr. Cooper 888-480-2432 Website
Freedom Mortgage (No affiliation with Freedom Financial Network) 855-690-5900 Website
BB&T 800-827-3722 Website
USAA 855-430-8489 Website