The act of refraining from taking legal action despite the fact that a mortgage is in arrears. It is usually granted only when a mortgagor makes a satisfactory arrangement by which the arrears will be paid at a future date.

A lender may decide not to take legal action when a borrower is late in making a payment. Usually this occurs when a borrower sets up a plan that both sides agree will bring overdue mortgage payments up to date.

In the context of a mortgage process, forbearance is a special agreement between the lender and the borrower to delay a foreclosure. The literal meaning of forbearance is “holding back. ”Loan borrowers sometimes have problems making payments. This may cause the lender to start the foreclosure process. To avoid foreclosure, the lender and the borrower can make an agreement called "forbearance". According to this agreement, the lender delays his right to exercise foreclosure if the borrower can catch up to his payment schedule in a certain time. This period and the payment plan depend on the details of the agreement that are accepted by both parties. Forbearance is usually for temporary financial problems. If the borrower has more serious problems, for example if it is a variable-rate mortgage and the interest rate becomes unaffordable for the borrower, then forbearance is usually not a solution. When a lender offers a forbearance, please note they are taking the control of the situation so they can maneuver which ever way best serves the lender. The borrower is still responsible for the total monthly payment due each month, though they will accept the agreed forbearance amount. When the forbearance period is over the total amount of the original payments for that period is still due.