Servicing Guide

Published June 13, 2018



Determining Eligibility for a Forbearance Plan

The servicer is authorized to evaluate the borrower for a forbearance plan without receiving a complete BRP. The following table provides the eligibility criteria for a forbearance plan at the time of evaluation.

Eligibility criteria for a forbearance plan
The servicer must achieve QRPC with the borrower (see D2-2-01, Achieving Quality Right Party Contact with a Borrower) for additional information.

Note: If the borrower’s hardship is due to a disaster event, the servicer is authorized to offer a forbearance plan without achieving QRPC in accordance with Forbearance Plan Terms below.

The borrower must have an eligible hardship.

Note: While a BRP is not required, see the Mortgage Assistance Application (Form 710) for types of eligible hardships.

The property securing the mortgage loan must be a principal residence.

Note: If the borrower’s hardship is due to a disaster event, the property securing the mortgage loan may be a second home or an investment property.

The property securing the mortgage loan must not be condemned or abandoned.

Note: The property securing the mortgage loan may be vacant.

If the servicer determines the borrower is not eligible for a forbearance plan but there are acceptable mitigating circumstances, it must request Fannie Mae’s prior written approval by submitting a completed Forbearance Exception Request Template. Generally, the servicer’s determination of acceptable mitigating circumstances is based on a review of the borrower’s complete BRP.

Forbearance Plan Terms

The following requirements apply to forbearance plans:

  • For an MBS mortgage loan, the servicer must identify and distinguish the pool issue date and be familiar with the servicing requirements. See Determining the Allowable Forbearance Plan Term for an MBS Mortgage Loan in D2-3.1-02, Working with an MBS Mortgage Loan for Certain Workout Options for additional information.

  • If the eligibility criteria in Determining Eligibility for a Forbearance Plan above is met, the servicer is authorized to

    • offer an initial forbearance plan term of up to 6 months, and

    • grant an extension of the initial forbearance plan term of up to 6 additional months.

      Note:The servicer is authorized to offer the 6-month terms in separate, shorter increments.

      Note: If the borrower’s hardship is due to a disaster event (see Chapter D1-3, Providing Assistance to a Borrower Impacted by a Disaster Eventfor additional information) and the mortgage loan is 31 or more days delinquent, the servicer is authorized to offer an initial forbearance plan term of up to 3 months without achieving QRPC if it’s review of he facts and circumstances (which may result from establishing contact with the borrower and/or other means, such as a property inspection) indicates that the property, the borrower’s employment, or the borrower’s income is seriously affected by a disaster event. The servicer must continue attempts to achieve QRPC during this initial 3-month forbearance plan term.

  • The servicer must receive Fannie Mae’s prior written approval for a forbearance plan to

    • exceed a cumulative term of 12 months as measured from the start date of the initial forbearance plan, or

    • result in the mortgage loan becoming greater than 12 months delinquent.

  • When the servicer initially offers an arrangement that includes a combination of both forbearance and a repayment plan, the combined period must not exceed 36 months.

  • The borrower’s monthly payment must be reduced or suspended during the forbearance plan term. When the servicer requires the borrower to make reduced payments, the payment must be received on or before the last day of the month in which it is due, unless the servicer determines that acceptable mitigating circumstances caused the payment to be late.

  • The forbearance plan terms must be provided to the borrower with an Evaluation Notice. See Sending a Notice of Decision on a Workout Option in D2-2-05, Receiving a Borrower Response Package for additional information.

    Note:If the borrower is performing on a permanent HAMP modification, the servicer must include a provision that the borrower will be ineligible for the “pay for performance” incentives if he or she loses a good standing.

    Note: If the mortgage loan is a second lien mortgage loan, the servicer must include a provision for automatic termination of the forbearance plan when the first lien mortgage loan goes into foreclosure.

  • Once the forbearance plan is complete, one of the following must occur:

    • the mortgage loan must be brought current through a reinstatement,

    • the borrower is approved for another workout option,

    • the mortgage loan is paid in full, or

    • the servicer refers the mortgage loan to foreclosure in accordance with applicable law.

  • The servicer must terminate the forbearance plan if it determines

    • the borrower failed to meet the terms specified in the Evaluation Notice,

      any of the eligibility criteria for the forbearance plan are no longer satisfied,

      the borrower’s hardship is resolved, or

      the borrower requests that the forbearance plan be terminated.

Contacting a Borrower During a Forbearance Plan

The servicer must begin attempts to contact the borrower no later than 30 days prior to the expiration of any forbearance plan term and must continue outreach attempts until either QRPC is achieved or the forbearance plan term has expired. The following table provides the requirements the servicer must follow depending upon whether QRPC is achieved.

If QRPC... Then the servicer must determine...
is achieved
  • if the borrower’s hardship has been resolved,

  • the borrower’s intention with respect to the property, and

  • whether the borrower needs to submit a complete BRP to be evaluated for other workout options.

is not achieved if the borrower is eligible for a Fannie Mae Flex Modification and, if eligible, the servicer must send the borrower a Fannie Mae Flex Modification Solicitation Letter in accordance with D2-3.2-09, Fannie Mae Flex Modification.

See A4-2.1-04, Establishing Contact with the Borrower and D2-2-04, Sending a Borrower a Solicitation Package for a Workout Option for additional information on contacting the borrower and sending a Borrower Solicitation Package.

Handling Late Charges in Connection with a Forbearance Plan

The servicer must not accrue or collect late charges from the borrower during the forbearance plan. If the borrower defaults on the terms of the forbearance plan, the servicer is authorized to accrue late charges from the date the borrower defaulted on the plan.

Related Announcements

The following table provides references to Announcements that are related to this topic.

Announcements Issue Date
Announcement SVC-2018-04 June 13, 2018
Announcement SVC-2017-04 May 10, 2017