If you’ve been affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic and you own a single-family home with a federally backed or FHA-insured mortgage, you can request mortgage forbearance, a pause in making mortgage payments.
Learn the steps to take and questions to ask if you need mortgage forbearance from your lender.
Deadlines for Federally Backed Mortgage Forbearance and Foreclosures
For loans backed by HUD/FHA, USDA, VA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, you can request an initial forbearance through September 30, 2021.
Lenders could not foreclose on loans backed by HUD/FHA, USDA, VA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac until after July 31, 2021.
What Your Loan Servicer Must Do If You Request Forbearance
If you're having trouble making payments on your federally backed mortgage because of the COVID-19 pandemic, contact your loan servicer before September 30, 2021. Your loan servicer must:
Defer or reduce your payments for 180 days if you contact them to make arrangements
Give you another 180 days of mortgage relief at your request
Offer options for how you can make up the deferred or reduced payments. They will discuss these options with you at the end of your forbearance period.
Find Your Loan Servicer
If you don't know whether your mortgage is federally backed, see a list of federal agencies that provide or insure mortgages. You can also check the Fannie Mae loan lookup and the Freddie Mac loan lookup to see if either one owns or backs your mortgage. Together, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac own nearly half of all mortgages in the U.S.
Refinancing your mortgage allows you to pay off your existing mortgage and take out a new mortgage on new terms. You may want to refinance your mortgage to take advantage of lower interest rates, to change your type of mortgage, or for other reasons.
These resources will help you learn more about refinancing your mortgage:
If you’re at least 62 years old, a reverse mortgage can let you turn part of the equity in your home into cash. You will not have to sell the home or take on additional monthly bills. The reverse mortgage does not have to be paid back as long as you live in your home. You only repay the loan when you sell your home or permanently leave it. Read more information about reverse mortgages.
Types of Reverse Mortgages
The three types of reverse mortgages include:
- Federally Insured Reverse Mortgages - Known as Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM)
- Proprietary Reverse Mortgages
- Single Purpose Reverse Mortgages
Be sure to watch for aggressive lending practices, advertisements that refer to the loan as "free money," or those that fail to disclose fees or terms of the loan.
When finding a lender remember:
- Do not respond to unsolicited advertisements
- Be suspicious of anyone claiming that you can own a home with no down payment
- Seek out your own reverse mortgage counselor
- Never sign anything you do not fully understand
- Make sure the loan is federally insured
Reporting Fraud or Abuse
If you suspect fraud or abuse, let the counselor, lender, or loan servicer know. You may also want to file a complaint with:
If you have questions, contact your local HUD Homeownership Center for advice.
If you’re a homebuyer, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has two programs that may help make the process more affordable.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) manages the FHA loans program. This may be a good mortgage choice if you’re a first-time buyer because the requirements are not as strict as for other loans. The down payment and closing costs are low.
Am I eligible?
How Do I Apply?
The FHA doesn't lend money to people. It insures mortgage loans from FHA-approved lenders against default. To apply for an FHA-insured loan, you will need to use an FHA-approved lender. Search for an FHA-approved lender here.
How do I complain?
If you have a complaint about an FHA loan program, contact the FHA Resource Center.
When homeowners default on their FHA loan, HUD takes ownership of the property, because HUD oversees the FHA loan program. These properties are called either HUD homes or HUD real estate owned (REO) property.
Am I eligible?
Your qualifications to buy a HUD home depend on your credit score, ability to get a mortgage, and the amount of your cash down payment. You can also use an FHA-insured mortgage to buy a HUD home.
How do I apply?
Use the HUDHomestore to find listings of HUD real estate owned (REO) properties for sale. Click on the agent tab to find contact information to learn more about the property.
Where do I call for extra help?
If you have a question or need more information about FHA loans or HUD homes, you can:
Do you have a question?
Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They'll get you the answer or let you know where to find it.
Last Updated: September 23, 2021