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How Long Can Forbearance Be Used To Stop a Foreclosure?

Under a forbearance agreement, a mortgage company reduces or halts a homeowner’s monthly mortgage payments for a set period of time. The total amount owed does not change but is simply due at a later date.

Forbearance is a foreclosure defense strategy designed to help people keep their homes as they deal with temporary hardship. But life is unpredictable. What may have at first seemed like a temporary hardship may turn into a struggle that lasts longer than anyone expected. Medical bills pile up, a job search comes up short or you’re hit with another difficulty just as you’re starting to recover from the first. In these instances, you may want to extend the terms of your forbearance agreement to give yourself more time to get your head above water. But how long of an extension can you expect your mortgage lender to offer?

Forbearance is not supposed to be a long-term solution. Typically, the period lasts between a few months and a year. If you still need a little more time as your original forbearance period comes to a close, your mortgage company may offer an extension of a few months. Whether or not forbearance is an option in the first place, and whether or not an extension is possible, are based on the lender’s confidence in your ability to repay. If it takes you nearly the whole forbearance period to find a new job, but that job offers substantial pay and benefits, a lender will likely be more willing to give you a couple of extra months’ leeway than if your job prospects continue to look bleak. Having a history of making payments on time and remaining in communication with your lender can also instill confidence.

To find a foreclosure defense strategy that works for your specific situation, it is best to be upfront with your mortgage company about your challenges and your ability to pay. Forbearance benefits borrowers by protecting their credit scores and helping them stay in their home. It benefits lenders by allowing them to avoid the expensive and time-consuming foreclosure process.

People throughout New Jersey come to the Law Offices of James C. Zimmermann for knowledgeable guidance and accomplished representation. To discuss forbearance and other possible foreclosure defense options, call us at 973-764-1633 or contact us online. We have offices in Hackensack, Vernon, Wayne, Pompton Lakes and Nutley.

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