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What If I Miss a Home Loan Payment?

Sep 4, 2007
It is no secret that home loans will often last 30 years or more and that during that time anyone can face financial issues that may lead to missing a home loan payment. The first thing to do if you miss a home loan payment is to not panic. The second thing to do is to contact the lender as soon as possible.

Most lenders are not going to foreclose on your home if you miss one payment. They do, however, want to hear from you and they want to work out some payment options so that the delinquent payment will be met.

It is imperative that home owners understand that time is critical when payments are not sent in. The more payments you miss and the longer you wait before you contact the lender the fewer options you will have available. In some cases, if you ignore the lender for too long, foreclosure will be the only course of action that the lender can take. Do not let that happen to you.

You should also understand that missing one payment (in the home loan business, anyway) is not the same as missing two or more. Do the math. If you are behind in two payments, you are probably at least 60 days behind. Once a home loan becomes delinquent by at least 60 days the credit reporting people become involved, the lender becomes nervous, and you begin getting tons of mail and calls concerning the loan. Your name and address may be posted to publications that sell this type of information to third parties. It only goes down hill from here.

When you have to miss one payment on a home loan it should become your major goal to get that payment caught up as soon as possible. If you simply do not have cash coming in to pay the late payment (as well as the current payment) go to the lender and see if they can work something out with you. You might be surprised at how eager they can be to help. They may suggest that the payment be tacked on to the end of the loan or they may ask if you can pay the late payment in installation payments such as one-third of the late payment added to each of the next three monthly payments.

If your financial problem is more long term, you may want to talk to the lender about refinancing. Sometimes you can refinance to a mortgage that has lower monthly payments. This is not always possible, but if it is possible it may make it easier to make future payments on your home.

Of the many options that you have, all of them are going to lessen in value and usefulness the longer you wait before contacting your lender. Remember, once your payment becomes delinquent by 60 days, your options are severely reduced. When the delinquency hits 90 days you may have very few (if any) options left. Most of these problems can be avoided if you simply contact the lender as soon as possible and be willing to work with the lender to make up the missed payment or payments.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for The Thrifty Scot, please visit us at Consolidation Loan and Unsecured Loans
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