Apply For Forbearance – 5 Easy Steps

If the pandemic has you feeling the stress of making your house payment, or if you know someone who is, you can still get assistance. For most homeowners in Philadelphia and throughout the country are experiencing financial difficulties this year. The CARES Act can help you with mortgage payment deferral options, creating much-needed relief in these challenging times.
In order for the forbearance to work, it is important to understand it. It’s not automatic. You apply quickly for the program quickly, before it’s too late.
A study by the Urban Institute determined:

“Approximately 400,000 homeowners who became delinquent after the pandemic began have forgone forbearance and become delinquent. These borrowers may not know they are eligible for forbearance.”

Thankfully, you can still apply for forbearance, even if you’re just learning about it now. Doing so may be the game-changer many homeowners in Philadelphia and other cities may need to help them stay in your home. Mike Fratantoni, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), explained:

“The increase in new forbearance requests we have seen in Pennsylvania and surrounding states may be the result of additional outreach to homeowners.”

Are you looking to apply for forbearance but aren’t sure how to begin the process? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published 5 steps to follow when requesting mortgage forbearance:

1. Find the contact information for your mortgage provider

Look at your mortgage statement locate the phone number for your provider (the company you send your mortgage payment to every month). The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau encourages you to use the number on your statement to avoid scams.

2. Call your provider

Explain your situation so your mortgage company can determine your best course of action. Don’t forget to ask any questions you have about the process.

3. Ask if you’re eligible for protection under the CARES Act

The CARES Act protects you with federally backed loans (FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac). In addition, some private servicers are also providing forbearance programs.

4. Find out what happens when your forbearance period is over

Depending on the plan available to you, there are different options you may be able to consider. Your provider will help you get a better understanding of your options. The CFPB also recommends asking questions like:
  • What happens to the payments I miss?
  • What are my repayment options?
  • When will repayment be due?
  • Are there any fees?

5. Make sure you get a copy of your agreement in writing

A written agreement allows you to see exactly what type of program you’re agreeing to. It also helps you make sure it matches what you discuss with your provider over the phone.

Final Thought:

Help is out there for all homeowners in need. However, it’s important to apply now while this benefit is still available. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says: don’t wait, forbearance is not automatic and must be requested. Reach out to your mortgage provider today so you can get the help you need to save your hard-earned investment, your home!

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