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Can I Refinance While In Forbearance?

Covid-19 and Forebearance.

The latest information shows that there are an estimated 4.1 million borrowers that have placed their mortgages in forbearance on their mortgage, but a lack of information and poor  wording in the CARES Act was leaving many  borrowers unable to understand or take advantage of the current record low interest rates. Recently many of these rulings have been clarified.  Lets go through some of them.

The initial program was that borrowers may not get another mortgage for as many as 12 months after they come out of forebearance.   FHFA Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that FNMA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will allow borrowers that went into  forbearance during Covid-19 to refinance their loan or buy a new home with the support of the government sponsored loan program as long as they have made three straight months of payments after their forbearance comes to an end.

What is the Cares Act?  The Cares Act or Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, according to Wikipedia “is a $2.2 trillion dollar economic stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in March 2020 in response to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.”

Refinance After Forbearance

The CARES Act states that mortgage servicers “shall report the credit obligation or account as current” on any loan that goes into COVID-19-related forbearance.  Many homeowners listening to the mixed signals that were being put out stopped making payments without proper documentation from their lenders.  Buyer or in this case homeowner beware.  It is not in your best interest to stop making payments without getting documentation in writing in advance or it can cause trouble when trying to refinance.

Notations on their credit reports like “Account in forebearance, payment deferred.”  Any notation on your credit report will be an issue for any lender that is trying to help you refinance. Not the government is allowing homeowners to take advantage of today’s historic low interest rates by coming out of deferrment, continue to make mortgage payments on time and are eligible to refinance after making 3 on time payments.  

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