Is forbearance right for me?
The goal of mortgage loan forbearance is to help you get your home loan payments — including tax and insurance escrow or impound accounts — reduced or suspended for a set period of time, if you’re suffering from a temporary financial hardship.
You may be eligible for forbearance if:
- You're facing a temporary financial hardship such as a loss of income due to a medical illness, death of a co-borrower, natural disaster or unemployment, and the circumstances you're experiencing have a clear end in sight. For example, if you're unable to live in your home because of a flood and you're waiting for an insurance payment to cover the costs of additional living expenses, like staying in a hotel, that's one situation where forbearance may be an option.
Please note: If you receive forbearance assistance, when your situation improves, you'll be required to repay the past due amount from the unpaid months of your monthly housing payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance). Details about the repayment will be provided in your offer letter and will be explained by your Customer Relationship Manager.
How do I apply for a forbearance plan?
Now that I’m in the process of applying for a forbearance plan, what's next?
Before you call, please gather the following financial information that we'll be asking for:
- Your loan number
- The monthly pre-tax income of each borrower on the loan
- A description of your hardship
- Details about your monthly household expenses
- Unemployment benefits, if applicable
- Amount of homeowner’s association dues, if applicable
If we confirm that you're eligible to apply for this program, we'll tell you about some important deadlines.
After the call, you'll need to submit a hardship letter explaining your current financial difficulty. We'll pair you with a Customer Relationship Manager who will assist you throughout the process.
I've been approved to receive forbearance.
If you're approved, your Customer Relationship Manager will send you a letter outlining the terms of your forbearance, which may include:
- Temporarily suspending all of your mortgage payments, including tax and insurance payments for escrow accounts, for a set period of no more than 90 calendar days
- Suspension of all your mortgage payments including escrows/impounds for a set period, typically no more than 90 calendar days
- A temporary reduction of the amount you need to pay
In most cases, if you choose to agree to the terms, including the repayment plan, you'll need to sign and return a copy of the offer letter. Your Customer Relationship Manager will let you know whether or not you need to return any signed documents to us.
Please note that in some circumstances, such as natural disasters, we usually don't require you to sign and return the letter to us.
My financial hardship has ended.
After your situation has improved, you'll need to repay the past due amount, according to the plan outlined in your forbearance offer letter, which may include one of the following:
- Increasing the amount of your monthly mortgage payments until the past due amount is repaid
- Making a one-time payment of the full past due amount
- Adding the full past due amount to the back-end of your mortgage, extending the length of your mortgage until the entire balance is paid off
Home Loan Assistance Frequently Asked Questions
Forbearance is granted for a set period of time. But in many cases where resolving your hardship is dependent on an outside third-party, like an insurance company or getting hired after a period of unemployment, we may be able to extend the forbearance period to accommodate your situation. The additional missed payments and interest will be added to the total amount you'll need to repay.
If your first mortgage is with us, you may still be eligible to receive forbearance on your first mortgage, even if you have a second mortgage with us or another lender.
If you were denied home loan assistance, such as a request for a loan modification, short sale or deed in lieu, you may be able to dispute the decision. You can file an escalated case with us if you have reason to believe any of the following are true:
- You met all the criteria for home loan assistance but were not properly evaluated for assistance or were improperly denied assistance. This may include:
- You did not receive adequate notice from us about your foreclosure alternatives
- You were not given appropriate time to respond to communications from us during your loan review process
- Your loan was referred to foreclosure prematurely, or we did not suspend foreclosure activities when we were required to do so
You can also file an escalated case if either of these two specific concerns apply to your loan:
- You have a reasonable belief that your mortgage loan is being serviced in a fraudulent manner
- You have retained a lawyer to help you resolve a mortgage dispute with Bank of America
If you have reason to believe that any of the above apply in connection with your loan review and affected your eligibility for home loan assistance, you may file an escalated case with us to review your concerns.
Please note that inquiries about a pending request for home loan assistance or general questions about the servicing of your mortgage do not meet the requirements for an escalated case. For general servicing questions, please call 1.800.669.6607 (Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. local time).
To file an escalated case, you or any third party representing you, such as a housing counselor or attorney, should send us a brief letter describing the specific reasons you believe one of the above scenarios applies to your loan or to your application for home loan assistance. If you are represented by an attorney, please have your lawyer submit this request on your behalf.
Escalated case requests must be sent by mail to the following address:
- Bank of America Corporate Center
Attn: BAC Escalated Case Unit
P.O. Box 940508
Simi Valley, CA 93094-0508
Please note that if a third party, such as an advisor or a nonprofit advocate, contacts us to submit an escalated case on your behalf, we must have your written authorization before we can communicate with them about you or your loan. Without your written authorization, we will not be able to discuss your home loan with them. We can provide you with an authorization form upon request.
What to expect after submitting your request
Within three business days after receipt:
- If your submission meets the requirements for an escalated case, within three business days of the receipt of your request, we will send you a written acknowledgement that we have received your request. This acknowledgement will also include the estimated date by which your escalated case should be resolved, along with a toll-free number for the Escalated Case Unit.
Within 15 calendar days after receipt:
- In most cases, within 15 calendar days of receiving your request, we will mail you a written response describing the proposed resolution of your request and any next steps to be followed by you or by us. If your matter cannot be resolved within 15 calendar days, we will notify you of the delay and give you a new estimated resolution date. This new estimated resolution date, in most cases, will be no longer than 30 calendar days from the date we received your original escalated case.
Checking the status of your escalated case
Your written confirmation will include a toll-free number you can call for information about your escalated case.