Bell Bank

Forbearance Frequently Asked Questions

We've provided easy-to-access answers to commonly asked questions. If at any time you don't find what you're looking for, contact us and we'd be happy to assist.

What is forbearance on a mortgage loan?

Forbearance is an agreement between a mortgage lender and a borrower to temporarily pause or reduce mortgage payments for a period of time, without the borrower risking defaulting on their loan. Forbearance is not forgiveness; the borrower is expected to eventually repay any delayed or reduced payments.  


Who qualifies for mortgage forbearance?

Usually, homeowners who are coping with a financial hardship can apply for forbearance with their mortgage lenders. Under the CARES Act, homeowners with a federally backed mortgage, who are experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic may request forbearance.


Forbearance may be an option if you are:

  • On the verge of missing payments
  • Experiencing a temporary hardship
  • Behind on your mortgage payments

How long does mortgage forbearance last?

Under the CARES Act, eligible homeowners can request a forbearance period of up to 180 days, or around 6 months. Additionally, they are allowed to request 1 extension for an additional 180-day forbearance period, which would extend the total forbearance to up to 12 months.


How do I apply for mortgage forbearance?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends calling your mortgage servicer to request a forbearance. If your mortgage is serviced by Bell, click here to learn how to start the forbearance process.


How do I know who services my mortgage?

Your mortgage servicer (the company that handles your loan) is listed on your monthly mortgage statement.


Are there fees associated with mortgage forbearance?

No. Under the CARES Act, eligible homeowners who receive mortgage forbearance must not be subject to any additional fees, penalties or interest beyond what would normally be charged.


Does mortgage forbearance affect your credit score?

No. If you are granted forbearance under the CARES Act, servicers are prohibited from reporting the resulting late or missed payments that could impact your credit. Additionally, the CARES Act puts a temporary moratorium on the foreclosure of any federally backed residential mortgage from March 18 through May 17, 2020. (Foreclosure proceedings started before the bill’s passage are not exempt from the moratorium.