This week’s Throwback Thursday post explains 4 steps to take if you are struggling to make mortgage payments.
Struggling to make mortgage payments is stressful. And it’s even worse if you’ve already missed payments. You start to wonder what you can do and if you have options. If you’re worried about making your house payment, here is what to do next.
1. Be aware.
Straining to make or missing mortgage payments is difficult and the problem will not be fixed without taking action. First, acknowledge there is something to fix and decide to start problem solving. Have unopened letters piled up from your lender? Begin with something small and open your mail. If you’re in the dark about your mortgage status, read through all notifications.
2. Don’t run; take ownership.
Once you’ve recognized there is a problem, commit to taking action to achieve resolution. Addressing the struggle or delinquency head-on is important because you will have limited time to work things out. In the state of Minnesota after 3 missed payments the homeowner will receive a Pre-foreclosure Notice. This indicates the lender is aware you are struggling. The Pre-foreclosure Notice provides contact information of a local foreclosure prevention counseling agency. That agency can provide strategies that may include loan modification options.
3. Communicate with your lender.
Contacting your lender may seem daunting, but it’s the best way to figure out your options. If you think your mortgage payment is affordable and you can catch up the past due amount, request to speak with the Loss Mitigation Department. If the lender sends a loan modification packet, complete and submit it right away. Then check in with the loan servicer once a week or every other week. It’s up to you to ask about the review status, additional documentation required, or if a Sheriff’s Sale has been scheduled. If you think your home is not affordable, contact a HUD-certified foreclosure counselor to discuss options and your rights.
4. Seek guidance.
It’s okay to ask for help. Seek input from an unbiased, trusted specialist. You should NEVER pay a third party to modify your mortgage. Contact a HUD-certified, non-profit housing counselor to discuss your options for free.
LSS Financial Counseling will assess your financial situation and assist you with completing necessary documentation and paperwork. Counselors will also work with your lender as needed and discuss options to save your home.
For more information on how housing counseling can help, check out How one Minnesota man saved his home from foreclosure.