With the number of homeowners under forbearance plans nearing 10 percent of all of those having a mortgage, a Lending Tree survey indicates that most of those borrowers did not actually need the help. One quarter of the homeowners surveyed by the company said they had applied for forbearance because of a COVID-19 hardship, and of those, 80 percent were granted one. However, only 5 percent said they wouldn't have been able to pay their mortgage without forbearance. Lending Tree says that lenders typically require borrowers to prove they're experiencing a financial hardship in order to qualify for forbearance. However, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress lets homeowners with government-backed loans apply for forbearance without having to prove a hardship. This helps explain why so many people were able to get a forbearance even though they didn't necessarily need one.