If you’re a wounded military member or surviving spouse facing foreclosure as a result of an active-duty injury or death, you may be eligible for payment forbearance for up to 6 months from Fannie Mae.
Under the provisions of Fannie Mae’s Unique Hardships guidelines for forbearance:
- You can lower payments or even temporarily suspend your monthly payment for up to 6 months — giving you time to get back on your feet.
- You may be eligible regardless of your income, the size of your mortgage, or the amount in arrears.
- You won’t get a black mark on your credit report related to your mortgage loan during the forbearance period.
- Your lender, with Fannie Mae’s approval, will decide if you’re eligible for forbearance.
To see if you qualify for forbearance, just contact your lender and ask about the Fannie Mae program. You’ll likely need to follow up with a letter and possibly provide other documentation of the death or injury.
Catch up after forbearance
After the forbearance period has ended, you’ll need to repay the amount that was suspended. However, you usually have a few repayment options:
- Move the payments to the end of the mortgage, which will lengthen the term.
- Make a one-time payment for the amount.
- Add a specific amount to the payments each month until the entire amount is repaid.
Learn more about the forbearance program
Visit: Fannie Mae’s Know Your Options for more info about what to do if you’re experiencing a hardship.
Call: 877-MIL-4566, a military hotline for the Fannie Mae forbearance program.
Visit: U.S. Department of Urban Development housing counselor directory to find independent housing counselors near you.
Other lifelines for military families
If you incurred your mortgage debt before your military service, you may also be protected under the 2003 Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). It temporarily protects active-duty or deployed service members from legal obligations related to a variety of civil and financial responsibilities, including mortgage payments, credit card debt, unpaid taxes, and civil trials.
New program, big hopes
“This happens to be our first real foray into something we could concretely do together [with the military],” says Jeff Hayward, senior vice president of Fannie Mae’s National Servicing Organization. “We’re still talking, and we hope to do more.”