Another alliance between the military and housing forces was announced yesterday as Fannie Mae and the U.S. Army introduced a Military Forbearance Initiative to assist service members keep their homes.

Like other forbearance programs offered to Fannie Mae borrowers, the military version is an agreement between borrower and mortgage company to suspend or reduce mortgage payments for a period that allows the borrower to deal with short term financial problems.  Under the new program it will be possible to obtain forbearance for a longer period - up to six months, and adverse reports to credit bureaus are suspended during the forbearance period.

The program is designed to assist an injured service member or spouse who is facing financial hardship because of a service related injury or losing a partner on active duty.  The option is available to borrowers who are unable to refinance and/or are behind on their mortgage payments.

To augment the forbearance program, Fannie Mae has set up a hotline and a website and has produced printed materials for distribution on military facilities that explain the program and assists military families in utilizing it.  Persons in need of assistance are encouraged to call the hotline at 877-MIL-4566 or visit

"The men and women of our Armed Forces have shown extraordinary commitment to our country while facing unique challenges as a result of their service," said Jeff Hayward, Senior Vice President of Fannie Mae's National Servicing Organization. "No family impacted by a death or injury in the line of duty should have to face the additional burden of foreclosure as a result of the hardship. We want to do all that we can to provide support to these families at a time of need as we honor their sacrifices and service to our country."

Another multi-agency collaboration on behalf of military members was announced last summer between the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development which will be coordinating a program using local public housing agencies to channel $58.6 million to rental assistance specifically targeted to homeless veterans.