Servicing Guide

Published November 10, 2020

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What does Fannie Mae Lender Letter LL 2020-02 state about forbearance plan terms for borrowers impacted by COVID-19?

NOTE: The response to this Q&A is directly from Fannie Mae Lender Letter (LL-2020-02), Impact of COVID-19 on Servicing.

Forbearance plan terms UPDATED Apr. 8, 2020

With the Mar. 18, 2020 Lender Letter, we communicated that servicers must achieve QRPC with the borrower prior to offering a forbearance plan, that the property securing the mortgage loan may be either a principal residence, a second home, or an investment property, and that the servicer must otherwise follow the requirements in Servicing Guide D2-3.2-01, Forbearance Plan. In response to the CARES Act, the servicer must approve forbearance plans for borrowers impacted by COVID-19 in accordance with the CARES Act.

 

The CARES Act states that a forbearance plan must be provided to any borrower who requests a forbearance with an attestation of the financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 emergency; and no additional documentation other than the borrower’s attestation to a financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 emergency is required. Such a borrower must be provided an initial forbearance plan for a period up to 180 days, and that forbearance period may be extended for up to an additional 180 days at the request of the borrower. In accordance with the Servicing Guide D2-3.2-01, Forbearance Plan, the servicer may provide an initial forbearance period, and any extended forbearance period, in separate, shorter increments. If the borrower’s COVID-19 related hardship has not been resolved during an incremental forbearance period, the servicer must extend the borrower’s forbearance period, not to exceed 12 months total. For a borrower impacted by COVID-19, we are temporarily eliminating the requirement that the servicer must receive our prior written approval for a forbearance plan that would result in the mortgage loan becoming greater than 12 months delinquent.

As a reminder, servicers must inform the borrower that the payments which are the subject of a forbearance plan have only been delayed or reduced, not forgiven, and that 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 also inform the borrower that he or she may shorten a forbearance plan term at any time to reduce the amount of payments which are being delayed or reduced.

As stated in the Servicing Guide D2-3.2-01, Forbearance Plan, the forbearance plan terms must be provided to the borrower using the appropriate Evaluation Notice, which must be revised in accordance with applicable law. In addition, the servicer must document in the individual mortgage loan file the borrower’s request for forbearance and attestation as to a financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 emergency, and the terms of the initial and any extended forbearance, including the duration of the forbearance period.

For more information see Fannie Mae Lender Letter (LL-2020-02), Impact of COVID-19 on Servicing.

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