What Is Mortgage Forbearance?

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We all run into unexpected financial trouble–unemployment, emergency medical expenses, emergency home repairs, or a shortfall for some other reason that keeps us from making ends meet–but fortunately, homeowners can lessen the blow with a mortgage forbearance. A mortgage forbearance is simply a "break" from making monthly payments to your loan.

How Does a Forbearance Work?

When you request a mortgage forbearance, you and your lender first negotiate the length of the forbearance period–usually less than six months. Often, this is enough time for a borrower to cope with whatever temporary financial hardship he or she faces.

However, even though you will not be making payments during your forbearance, you will still have to make those payments at a future date. Your lender will also still charge you interest on your loan during the forbearance period. You and your lender also agree on these repayment terms. Usually, you can agree to about twelve months' worth of extra monthly payments, which begin when your forbearance period ends.

Obtaining a Mortgage Forbearance

All lenders have different requirements for requesting a forbearance. Generally, though, you will need to prove that your financial difficulty is temporary and that you will be able to resume regular payments when the forbearance period ends. Contact your lender for their specific terms.