COVID-19: What are the requirements for using the COVID-19 Forbearance?

Regardless of the delinquency status of the Mortgage, all FHA-insured Borrowers, impacted directly or indirectly by COVID-19, may request a COVID-19 Forbearance from their Mortgage servicer.  The initial COVID-19 Forward Forbearance must be requested by the Borrower on or before September 30, 2021.

If a Borrower is experiencing a financial hardship negatively impacting their ability to make on-time Mortgage Payments due to COVID-19 and requests a COVID-19 Forbearance, the Mortgagee must offer the Borrower a COVID-19 Forbearance.

The Mortgagee may utilize any available method for communicating with a Borrower regarding a COVID-19 Forbearance to meet these requirements. Acceptable methods of communication regarding a COVID-19 Forbearance include, but are not limited to, emails, text messages, fax, teleconferencing, websites, web portals, etc. If a Mortgagee sends out a general communication advising that a COVID-19 Forbearance is available, the Borrower may reply to that communication requesting a COVID-19 Forbearance via email, phone call, or any other method of communication clearly made available to the Borrower by the Mortgagee.

The COVID-19 Forbearance Period is based on the date of initial COVID-19 Forbearance.  If needed and the initial COVID-19 Forbearance Period was issued on or before June 30, 2021 an additional COVID-19 Forbearance period for up to six months may be requested by the Borrower and approved by the Mortgagee.  No additional forbearance period is available for COVID-19 Forbearance initiated July 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021.

If an additional Forbearance period is needed an extension may be available as follows: 

Extension Requests

For Borrowers who requested their initial COVID-19 Forbearance:

  • On or before June 30, 2020, if needed, the Borrower may request, and the Mortgagee must approve, up to two additional three-month COVID-19 Forbearance periods, after 12 months of COVID-19 Forbearance. The maximum COVID-19 Forbearance must not exceed 18 months and must not extend beyond December 31, 2021;
  • Between July 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020, if needed the Borrower may request, and the Mortgagee must approve, up to one additional 3-month COVID-19 Foreclosure period, after the 12 months of COVID-19 Forbearance.  The maximum COVID-19 Forbearance must not exceed 15 months and may not extend beyond December 31, 2021;
  • Between October 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, the maximum COVID-19 Forbearance must not exceed 12 months and may not extend beyond June 30, 2022.

If the initial COVID-19 Forbearance was on or before September 30, 2020 and an extension(s) is needed, the Borrower must request each three-month extension individually.

The term of the initial and any additional COVID-19 Forbearance period may be shortened at the Borrower’s request.

The Mortgagee must waive all Late Charges, fees, and penalties, if any, as long as the Borrower is on a COVID-19 Forbearance Plan.

Any Borrower who is granted a COVID-19 Forbearance and is otherwise performing as agreed is not considered to be delinquent for purposes of credit reporting.

For additional FHA Policy Information, see:
Handbook 4000.1 III.A.2.o.iii at

All policy information contained in this knowledge base article is based upon the referenced HUD policy document. Any lending or insuring decisions should adhere to the specific information contained in that underlying policy document.

Topic Number: KA-05565