What Is Forbearance In Real Estate?

In the real estate space, forbearance is a particular circumstance in which a mortgage servicer or mortgage lender allows a mortgage buyer to receive a modified payment arrangement, as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  thoroughly explained. Different arrangements exist. As one option for a mortgage forbearance, a buyer can pay a decreased monetary amount on the mortgage. As another option for a mortgage buyer, this kind of forbearance allows the mortgage buyer to pause mortgage payments altogether. (Remember, a pause is not permanent.) 

Of course, a mortgage buyer who receives a permissible payment decrease or a permissible payment pause under a forbearance agreement remains liable for paying the mortgage back. Moreover, mortgage forbearance agreements will not be freely given. So, a mortgage buyer whose circumstances suggest he could be appropriate for receiving one must take the initiative. This means that a good faith mortgage buyer must take fiscal responsibility and pursue the forbearance agreement himself –- if the proper conditions exist. As Investopedia explained, under a forbearance agreement the lender formally promises not to foreclose on the mortgage in connection with the buyer's payment plan to bring himself current.

Forbearance can be sought

Why, exactly, would a mortgage buyer pursue a forbearance? As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau detailed, this option may appeal to a person who has experienced a personal or environmental hardship. Several examples of hardships exist: If a mortgage buyer experiences damage to one's home in a weather occurrence such as a flood he may pursue forbearance. Likewise, if he experiences ill health or personal injury that cause his healthcare costs to meaningfully increase then he may pursue the same. Another forbearance-worthy circumstance is losing one's job. At the same time, as the Bureau explained, forbearance will not erase the amount that the mortgage buyer owes on his mortgage. He remains responsible for missed or decreased payments.

In order to request a mortgage forbearance, the buyer should call his servicer in a timely manner. The buyer should explain his circumstance (the hardship or hardships) and inquire about which forbearance or hardship choices he may avail himself of. As news of the COVID-19 pandemic spread, forbearance options began in March of 2020, like Investopedia observed.