Research Report Normalizing Forbearance
Alexei Alexandrov, Laurie Goodman, Ted Tozer
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The time is right to make forbearance the first step on most loss mitigation waterfalls. In this report, we propose expanding mortgage payment forbearance eligibility, in a cost-effective manner, to prevent tens of thousands of foreclosures each year. Borrowers experiencing job loss, death of co-borrower, divorce, or qualifying health event would be able to contact their servicer and provide the necessary documentation at any time (instead of waiting until they are already late or missing payments). The servicer would be obligated to extend forbearance for up to four months, without a negative report to the credit bureaus. The servicer would be responsible for advancing payments to investors and for the borrower’s escrow of hazard insurance and property taxes, to be reimbursed later. This proposal is possible with minimal disruption to the mortgage industry and can be implemented without congressional action and major rulemaking.

Research Areas Housing finance
Tags Homeownership Racial homeownership gap Housing finance reform Housing stability Financial products and services
Policy Centers Housing Finance Policy Center