Q: Under extenuating circumstances, can I get forbearance for my mortgage?
A: The answer is "possibly." Many mortgage lenders have forbearance policies already in place, and some can run as long as a full year. Also, new "forbearance in the case of unemployment" policies for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are just coming into the market.
To find out what might be appropriate for your situation, you'll need to get in touch with your mortgage lender to see what can be made available to you. However, you should know that any penalties and accrued interest will be either be added to your loan amount, or, more likely, will need to be paid back on an accelerated pace after the "no payment period" comes to an end. You'll need to review your financial situation to make certain this doesn't leave you in even more difficult straits by the time the forbearance runs out.
A 25-year expert observer of the mortgage and consumer debt markets, Keith Gumbinger has been cited in thousands of articles covering a wide range of consumer finance and economic topics in outlets ranging from the Wall Street Journal to the Bottom Line newsletters. He has been a featured guest on national broadcasts for CNN, CNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC television networks and has been heard on NPR and other national and local radio programs. Keith is the primary researcher and writer for HSH.com's MarketTrends newsletter and has authored or co-authored a number of consumer guides on mortgages, home equity, refinancing and more.