Struggling homeowners need to act fast to get COVID-related mortgage forbearance

December 31 may be the last day to qualify

RALEIGH—Are you struggling to make your mortgage payments because of financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic?

If so, you may qualify for "mortgage forbearance," which means you may not have to make mortgage payments for a period of time—but you need to act fast. December 31 may be the last day to qualify.

You can qualify for mortgage forbearance even if you were behind on your mortgage payments before the COVID-19 pandemic, and even if your financial hardship is only indirectly related to the pandemic.

Getting mortgage forbearance is easy. Just contact your mortgage servicer—the company that you make mortgage payments to—and tell them that you are experiencing financial hardship related to the COVID pandemic, and that you want to get a forbearance on mortgage payments. You will also need to tell them how long you want the forbearance to last.

If you qualify, you can receive mortgage forbearance for an initial period of up to 180 days, plus an additional 180 days if you continue to experience financial hardship.

If you need help requesting a forbearance from your mortgage servicer, or your mortgage servicer tells you that you are not eligible for a forbearance, we may be able to help. Call our toll-free helpline at 1-866-219-5262.

COVID-related mortgage forbearance is available to struggling homeowners because of the CARES Act, a federal law enacted soon after the start of the pandemic.