Not being able to keep up with mortgage payments is a fear all homeowners have. After so many missed payments you may be faced with the risk of foreclosure, which is something no homeowner wants to think about. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take if you’re having trouble making mortgage payments. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers the following guidance.
The first step is to make your lender aware of the issue, preferably before any payments are missed. Most lenders are willing to work with their clients to ensure mortgage continues to be paid, which involves many different options. When contacting your lender, be ready to discuss your financial status, including any difficulties you might be facing. While it can be difficult to admit you’re having financial trouble, being forthcoming with the lender is crucial to preventing more serious issues, including foreclosure.
After talking with your lender, you’ll have to consider the best solution for your mortgage issues. You may be able to refinance your loan at a lower interest rate. You may also qualify for a loan modification, which changes the structure of the loan to make it easier to repay. Forbearance is another option that allows you to pause your loan or continue paying it at a reduced rate for a certain period of time. If you have a significant amount of debt and are having trouble keeping up, bankruptcy may also be considered.
When going over your options, be wary of any potential scams or frauds. Sadly, scam artists target homeowners in trouble, who are often willing to do whatever it takes to get back on track. Common mortgage relief scams include being asked to remit payment for any help upfront, guarantees of a lower mortgage, requests to stop remitting payment to your lender, or requests that you sign over your home’s title to another party.