Many homeowners need help making their mortgage payments. Many times the causes are outside the homeowner's control. No one expects layoffs, company closures, illness or the death of a wage earner when they sign for the mortgage on their home. Fortunately, help is available for people who have or might miss one or more of their mortgage payments. The federal government has enacted programs to help people stay in their homes.
Call a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counselor. These counseling agencies are non-profit companies approved by HUD to help homeowners in all states of buying or owning a home. If you are currently facing foreclosure, or fear you may be facing foreclosure, these companies will work with you for free or low cost. Call (800) 569-4287 to find a housing counselor in your area.
Provide the housing counselor with all of the information about your situation. The housing counselor will help you formulate a strategy for handling your case. Each situation is different, and requires a different solution. Stay in contact with your counselor throughout the process.
Contact your current loan servicer. Explain to them you have talked with a housing counselor. Tell them what solutions the housing counselor recommends. If you have not yet missed a payment, you may qualify for a refinance. If you have missed payments in the past 12 months, you may need a temporary or permanent modification.
Complete the necessary paperwork for your program. Some programs may require you provide proof of your income, while others may not. Ask for a list of required documents from your loan specialist, and provide all of the documents. Working off the list will help ensure you provide everything needed the first time. If you cannot provide something on the list, discuss this with your loan specialist to see what else can be provided in its place.
Schedule regularly occurring loan updates with your loan specialist. These should be at least weekly to ensure you know where your application is in the process. Stay patient with the process, many lenders are extremely busy with processing these requests. More documentation may be required once the initial application is considered. This is a normal part of the process.
Mortgage companies want to keep you in your home. You have to work with them and ask for help however. They would rather find a solution that helps you make the payments than foreclose on your home and try to sell it.
- Mortgage companies want to keep you in your home. You have to work with them and ask for help however. They would rather find a solution that helps you make the payments than foreclose on your home and try to sell it.
David Rouse, currently residing in Raleigh, N.C., has been writing and teaching home owners about the mortgage industry since 1997. Rouse has written training manuals for mortgage professionals and conducted informational first-time home-buyer seminars, providing make-sense answers for a long and confusing process. He studied at Western Kentucky University.