The recently-enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes forbearance options for homeowners who are experiencing financial hardships due to the COVID-19 emergency. Your clients’ forbearance options will depend on the type of mortgage.

Borrowers with federally-based mortgages may request up to 12 months of forbearance. These include FHA, VA, USDA, and conforming loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Clients with loans that are not federally-backed will need to consult their loan servicer to find out what forbearance options are available. Your state may also offer assistance to these clients.


Borrowers with financial difficulties need to contact their servicer as soon as possible. Remind them that many other borrowers are applying for forbearance, and this is causing long wait times.

Also, remember to find out exactly what will happen when the forbearance period ends. Loan servicers may add the skipped payments to the end of the original loan term, request a lump sum repayment or increase the clients’ monthly payments for a period of time.