Are you experiencing a short-term hardship? Forbearance may provide temporary payment relief to assist homeowners dealing with a job loss, disability, illness, a recent disaster, divorce, death of a wage earner or other unique circumstances.

"We are facing a temporary hardship,
we just need help for a few months."

What is a Forbearance?

With this option, you and your mortgage company agree to temporarily suspend or reduce your monthly mortgage payments for a specific period of time. This option lets you deal with your short-term financial problems by giving you time to get back on your feet and bring your mortgage current.

Forbearance may be an option if you are:

  • Behind on your mortgage payments or on the verge of missing payments
  • Experiencing a temporary hardship

What are the benefits?

  • Lower or temporarily suspend your monthly payment—giving you time to improve your financial situation and get back on your feet
  • Less damaging to your credit score than a foreclosure
  • Stay in your home and avoid foreclosure

How does it work?

Forbearance reduces your monthly mortgage payment—or suspends it completely—during the forbearance period. If you qualify for forbearance, you and your mortgage company will discuss the forbearance terms:

  • length of forbearance period,
  • reduced payment amount (if the payment is not suspended), and
  • the terms of repayment.

After the forbearance period has ended, you will need to repay the amount that was reduced or suspended. However, there are a few options available if you qualify— make a one-time payment for the amount due (reinstatement); add a specific amount to your payments each month until the entire amount is repaid (see Repayment Plan); or cure the past due amount through a modification (see Modification).

Next steps

Step 1

Gather your financial information—Make sure you have your basic financial and loan information on hand when you call your mortgage company. You’ll need:

  • your mortgage statements, including information on a second mortgage (if applicable);
  • your other monthly debt payments (e.g., car or student loans, credit card payments); and
  • your income details (paystubs and income tax returns).

Step 2

Explain your current situation—Be ready to outline your current hardship and explain why you are having trouble making your mortgage payment and if this is a short-term or long-term problem. Your mortgage company will need to understand the reasons why you are having difficulty in order to find the right solution for you.

Step 3

Contact your mortgage company or the Fannie Mae Mortgage Help Network—Tell them you are interested in a Forbearance and you want to see if you qualify.

Use these helpful forms to help you prepare »

The biggest mistake you can make is to wait any longer to take action. Contact your mortgage company today to see if a Forbearance is an option for you. If you need further assistance (before or after contacting your mortgage company), contact a Housing Counselor.

Kay – Homeowner

Ron – Housing Counselor