You have likely heard of people with mortgage difficulties. What if you can’t pay your mortgage – what can you do?” Where can you turn to for help to avoid foreclosure and losing your home? As the 2008 mortgage crisis taught us, that could be any of us with that very same problem. So what is the answer? What can you do if you can’t pay your mortgage?
Did 2008 Teach Us Lessons?
If you have mortgage difficulties there are certain things you can do to prevent you losing your home. It happened to vast numbers from 2008 onward through little fault of their own. They were not to blame for being offered mortgages they could not afford, and certainly not for the irresponsible trading of sub prime mortgage derivatives on the stock market that brought the problem to the attention of the general public.
Five years on and it is slightly easier for those with mortgage difficulties. Thankfully, both lenders and the government have learned some lessons from the sub prime derivative crash. If any good can come from such a harrowing time for many people this is one example. Here is what you can do if you have mortgage difficulties or even if you just can’t pay your mortgage:
Don’t Ignore the Letters
Read the letters! It’s difficult to watch the post coming into your mailbox and seeing these envelopes knowing what they might contain. You must not ignore them, but open the letters and respond to them. Don’t hide them in cupboards or drawers – they won’t go away. Write back or call your mortgage lender and state your financial situation. You may be surprised by the help they are willing to offer.
You will likely be asked for a financial statement. Be honest with your total income and expenditure, including all your debts. They won’t be forgotten, but you may be able to come to an affordable mortgage repayment schedule. Your lender might rearrange your mortgage to offer you a lower interest rate or longer repayment period – each of these will reduce your monthly payments to a more affordable amount.
Federal Help with Mortgage Difficulties
Check out the HUD website and contact a HUD counselor. This is a free service, and you will be given the best advice possible for your specific situation. There are several ways in which your situation can be resolved and improved so you can keep your home with affordable repayments.
What you must not do is to leave your home. Abandoning your home will not help, and may ruin any possibility of you getting help from your lender or the government. One government program, ‘Hope for Homeowners,’ offers 30-year fixed rate mortgages. You will only get this type of help if you are still living in your own property.
Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program
Another program if you have mortgage difficulties is known as Making Home Affordable. This helps you to refinance your mortgage and makes it easier for you to pay. However, if you are really in deep trouble then the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program can help.
You won’t be able to save your home, but if you are interested in a Deed In Lieu of Foreclosure or even a short sale then it can help. Each of these enables you to clear your debt to the mortgage lender in return for your home. You benefit by not having a foreclosure on your credit record, and usually having your mortgage debt paid off.
If you have mortgage difficulties and can’t pay your mortgage, then you should consider one or more of the above options. Each situation is different and what suits another person might not be best for you. Seek independent advice for the solution that best meets your needs.