BUYER BEWARE: ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS get written confirmation from any bank, mortgage company or lender if it is granting you a forbearance or payment deferment arrangement.
In my credit damage/Fair Credit Reporting Act practice, we are often approached by people who have had their credit ruined by late-pay derogatory marks after they have had a forbearance agreement or loan deferment agreement with their lender.
There are people I can help in these cases, and there are people that I cannot help. The single difference is whether the consumer gets some written confirmation of the forbearance/deferment agreement. When the consumer gets that, and the lender or bank then violates the agreement with bad credit reporting, the case has a high value and the consumer will get both credit correction as well as money damages. When the consumer does not have written confirmation, I cannot help them.
Most consumers call their lenders on the phone when asking for loan forbearance. This is normal, but please understand that the person you reach on the phone, regardless of title, is an underling and lacks independent authority. However, if you are asking for a forbearance, the person on the other end of the line will usually have authority to give you a forbearance, usually for a specified time, such as 90 days. If you get a forbearance verbally, you then need to do the following:
- Request written confirmation from the person who gives you the forbearance. It can be a letter or an email. But you need written confirmation.
- If the person will not give you an email confirmation, send this person an email confirming the forbearance. They will usually give you their email address, or a general email address for the lender. State the following: “Today (date), your representative Sam Smith (if they give you their name), granted me a forbearance wherein I will not have to make payments for the next 90 days/ will only have to make one-half payments for the next 90 days (specify the terms you were given). I am writing to confirm this. PLEASE IMMEDIATELY email me back at the following email address ****.com, if this is not correct. Further, please be on notice that if you submit any derogatory marks to the credit bureaus during the period of the forbearance, I will exercise all available rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and any associated laws.”
This will put you in a better position to protect your credit if you do need a forbearance. I hope this short blog post is helpful.