by Thomas D. Richards, Lawyer Referral Service Panelist
With a Forbearance Agreement, the foreclosure case is NOT dismissed. Rather, the lender and you sign off that the case will not be moved forward to foreclosure if you make payments on time, pay down the back payments, and start making the future monthly payments on time. The case is left open with the court to keep pressure on you to live up to the agreement. This is a temporary arrangement, and after the initial period of forbearance is over, you are caught up and must keep the payments current. The case is dismissed once you are completely caught up. Many times, your payment is lowered to help you get through the “catch-up” period. The lender, in this case, is trying to help you by lowering your payment so you have an easier time of paying back the arrearage. They can also put some or all of the arrearage at the “end” of the loan, which means that you do not have to pay the back payments now. You must still pay the back payments, but will do so at the time that you sell or refinance your home. Most people under this arrangement will not have to struggle to make up those back payments since they will be paid at the time the mortgage is terminated, either by selling their house or refinancing it.