Mortgage Forbearance: Purpose, Pros & Cons, Application Process, and FAQs


Mortgage forbearance is a valuable lifeline for homeowners facing financial setbacks. This comprehensive guide delves into every aspect of mortgage forbearance, providing a clear understanding of its purpose, the application process, potential pitfalls, and a comprehensive FAQ section. Explore how this temporary solution can help you stay afloat during challenging times.

Understanding mortgage forbearance agreements

A mortgage forbearance agreement is a crucial tool for homeowners dealing with temporary financial difficulties. It represents a formal arrangement between a mortgage lender and a borrower who is struggling to meet their mortgage payments. In this agreement, the lender agrees not to exercise its legal right to foreclose on the property, while the borrower commits to a structured plan aimed at bringing their mortgage current over a specified time frame.

The application process for mortgage forbearance

If you find yourself struggling to make your mortgage payments due to unexpected financial challenges, applying for a mortgage forbearance agreement can provide vital relief. Here’s how the application process generally works:

Contact your lender:

The first step is to reach out to your mortgage lender as soon as you anticipate or experience difficulties in making your payments. Effective communication is essential.

Explain your situation:

During your conversation with the lender, explain your financial hardship in detail. This may include job loss, medical emergencies, or other unforeseen circumstances.

Complete the necessary forms:

Your lender will provide you with the required forbearance request forms. Fill these out accurately and provide any requested documentation.

Agree on terms:

Discuss and agree upon the terms of the forbearance agreement with your lender. This includes the duration of the forbearance period and the terms for resuming regular payments.

Review the agreement:

Carefully review the forbearance agreement to ensure you understand all terms and conditions, including any interest that may accrue during the forbearance period.

Sign the agreement:

Once both parties are satisfied, sign the agreement, officially formalizing the arrangement.


Here is a list of the benefits and drawbacks to consider.

  • Temporary relief for borrowers facing financial hardships.
  • Prevents immediate foreclosure, giving homeowners a chance to stabilize their finances.
  • Flexibility in terms of repayment plans, tailored to individual circumstances.
  • Interest may continue to accrue during the forbearance period, increasing the overall cost.
  • Forbearance is not a long-term solution and may not address fundamental financial issues.
  • Borrowers are required to catch up on missed payments, which can be a financial burden.


Mortgage forbearance can provide crucial relief for homeowners facing short-term financial challenges. However, it’s essential to understand the terms of the agreement, including the potential accrual of interest, and consider whether it aligns with your financial goals. Communication with your lender is key to navigating this temporary solution effectively.

Frequently asked questions

What is the purpose of a mortgage forbearance agreement?

A mortgage forbearance agreement aims to provide temporary relief to homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments due to unforeseen financial difficulties. It allows borrowers to temporarily reduce or suspend their payments, with the assurance that the lender will not initiate foreclosure during this period.

How long does a typical mortgage forbearance agreement last?

The duration of a mortgage forbearance agreement can vary depending on the lender’s policies and the borrower’s situation. It may last for several months, typically up to a year, but the specific terms should be agreed upon between the borrower and lender.

What happens at the end of a forbearance period?

At the end of the forbearance period, borrowers are required to resume their regular mortgage payments. Additionally, they may need to pay an extra amount to catch up on the missed payments, which can include principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.

Is interest still charged during a mortgage forbearance?

Yes, in most cases, interest continues to accrue on the outstanding balance during the forbearance period. Borrowers should be prepared for this additional cost when the forbearance period ends.

Can I request an extension of my mortgage forbearance agreement?

Extensions of mortgage forbearance agreements are possible in some cases. If you find that you still require financial assistance beyond the initial agreement’s end date, it’s essential to communicate with your lender and discuss the available options for an extension.

Key takeaways

  • Mortgage forbearance offers temporary relief for homeowners facing financial difficulties.
  • Lenders agree not to initiate foreclosure while borrowers work on a plan to catch up on missed payments.
  • This solution is intended for those facing short-term financial difficulties, not as a long-term remedy.
  • Terms of forbearance agreements can vary among lenders and situations.
  • Interest may continue to accrue during the forbearance period.
View Article Sources
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  2. On target: debt forbearance policies help curb pandemic financial woes – Stanford University
  3. fLearn about forbearance – Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  4. Mortgage forbearance during COVID-19: what to know and what to do – Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  5. What Is a mortgage forbearance agreement? – SuperMoney