A forbearance plan is a workout option for borrowers with a temporary unresolved hardship that provides a period of reduced or suspended payments. For the purpose of this temporary sale flexibility, we define forbearance as beginning when the borrower:
- attested to or otherwise informed the lender or servicer that, after the note date, he or she has suffered financial hardship caused directly or indirectly by COVID-19 and requested forbearance;
- or was approved for a forbearance plan based on a COVID-19 related financial hardship that occurred after the note date.
A general inquiry from a borrower about forbearance without a request for forbearance does not automatically define the loan as in forbearance. Furthermore, a loan may be in forbearance without regard to whether a borrower made their first payment (for example, a borrower requests forbearance but continues to make their payments).
Note: In connection with loans a lender intends to sell to Fannie Mae, lenders should not in any way discourage borrowers from contacting them or encourage borrowers to delay notifying them either before or after the note date if they are experiencing a COVID-19 related financial hardship.