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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, they are taking control of the situation so that they can maneuver whichever 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.