Six months of relief for borrowers facing “unique hardship”

August 02, 2010 09:30AM

A new Fannie Mae policy allows homeowners facing “unique hardships” to skip up to six months of mortgage payments and tack them on to the end of their mortgage term, according to the New York Times. The new allowance, effective yesterday, applies to borrowers who have been forced to leave their homes while making necessary repairs to defective drywall, as well as to those whose spouses are injured or killed in military duty. Forbearances of this kind aren’t new: in the past, many homeowners facing drywall problems had asked their mortgage servicers for accommodations. But servicers had to then, in turn, ask Fannie Mae for permission. Now servicers have the authority to grant forbearances for up to six months and to inform credit agencies that these “unique hardship” borrowers are not delinquent. Fannie Mae estimates, though, that only half of those borrowers who qualify will actually take advantage of the new policy. [NYT]