If your mortgage is backed by a government entity such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD, USDA, or the Veterans Administration and you are experiencing hardship due to the pandemic, you may request up to six (6) months—of an initial mortgage forbearance. If your mortgage is not government-backed, or if you have a private loan, you have a right to request a mortgage forbearance for at least three (3) months.
We will stay in touch during your forbearance plan, and as it comes to an end you may have the option to extend your forbearance for an additional period of time depending on your specific situation and the investor/insurer of your mortgage.
If you have already applied for forbearance or are considering doing so, keep these four important steps in mind.
1. Do your homework
When considering mortgage relief options, understanding the terminology and process is critical. Forbearance allows you to temporarily pause your mortgage payments for a period of time without penalty, but it is not forgiveness. You will still owe the principal, interest, escrow, and other components of the mortgage after the forbearance period is over.
Forbearance is also not “deferment,” where the paused payments are added to the end of the loan’s term, although that may be one option for a repayment plan after your forbearance period ends. If you can make partial or full payments during the forbearance period, that will help reduce the amount you owe when the period is over; however, you are not required to do so.
2 Make the request
Forbearance is not automatic. Please contact us (M&T Bank) at 1-800-724-1633 to request a forbearance plan. Under the CARES Act, government-backed loans are entitled to an initial forbearance period of six months. To request an additional six months, you must make a second request before the first 180-day period expires.
3. Protect your financial well-being
Forbearance can help you overcome short-term financial setbacks, such as a temporary job loss or a reduction in hours and keep your home without negatively affecting your credit score. We will not charge late fees or other penalties during the forbearance period. Those that were assessed for missed payments prior to you entering into forbearance and not yet paid will continue to remain on the account. In most cases, if your homeowners insurance and real estate taxes are included in your mortgage, they will be advanced by your servicer while you are in forbearance. If they are not included, you should keep paying your homeowners insurance while you’re in forbearance and contact your municipality about deadlines and options for your tax payments.
4. Plan your next steps
Before your forbearance period expires, we will work with you to determine your best next steps. Your options may include a:
- Loan modification- This may include an extension at the end of your loan or an adjustment to your rate and term to pay the forbearance amount
- Repayment plan- Over a set number of months, an extra amount would be added to your regular mortgage payment to cover the amount you owe from forbearance.
- Reinstatement- While not required, if able, you also have the option of paying back the full amount owed before the end of the forbearance period.
Once you make your forbearance request, we will stay in contact with you while you are in forbearance to determine your best option for repayment.
Government guidance is changing nearly every day on this topic. To stay informed of changes, be persistent and check sources like:
Be sure to check your mortgage servicer’s online communications as well, as they are frequently updated.
Most important, your home will not be foreclosed upon while you are in forbearance. Your goal to remain a homeowner is shared by your lender. Know that you have options and your mortgage lender is committed to finding a solution that works.
For more information about M&T Bank’s relief options, visit our COVID-19 relief center.
For additional financial education resources for homeowners, visit our Financial Education Center.