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What To Do When Mortgage Trouble Hits

Dec 6, 2007
What can the average person do when he finds himself in financial trouble and the mortgage is due? With the current housing market crisis, a lot of homeowners are facing that question. As one might imagine, losing a home is not only financially destructive but also emotionally difficult. No one wants to lose their home, but what can you do if you are unable to make your mortgage payment?

There is some good news on this front. First of all, homeowners should understand that banks and mortgage lenders do not want to foreclose on a property. Foreclosure is often more costly than it is profitable. In addition to the initial costs, the banks and lenders become landlords and they do not want that burden either. If there is a way that they can help you keep your home, they are usually happy to work with you.

If a homeowner falls behind on payments, most lenders will work with the owner to bring the loan up to date. Doing that, however, requires that the owner stay in contact with the lender and do his or her part as well.

Most lenders will agree to work with homeowners who have shown diligence in the past in paying their bills. Homeowners who have been late with their payments on a frequent basis may find it harder to get the lender to work with them. This is one of the key reasons to make your mortgage payments on time whenever you can.

Once a homeowner realizes that he or she cannot make a payment, contact with the lender should follow as soon as possible. It is far easier for the lender to work with you if they know about the problem early. Waiting until you are several payments late will only create more problems.

When you speak with the lender about your finances, do not lie to them. Tell them the truth about your situation and do not make false promise that you know you cannot keep.

An agreement between homeowners and lenders to prevent the loss of a home is often called a loan workout plan. It will have specific deadlines that the homeowner must meet in order to avoid foreclosure. This is why you must be honest about your circumstances.

If the problem was brought about by a temporary condition likely to end within 60 days, the mortgage lender may grant a temporary indulgence.

For those who may have been laid off or lost a job and now have a return to employment the lender may work out a repayment plan. These types of plans require the usual mortgage payments to be made along with an additional amount that is applied toward the delinquent amount. Normally, these run for about 12 to 24 months.

For some homeowners, it may be impossible to make any payments at all for some time. Homeowners who have a very good credit track record can ask for a forbearance plan which will allow suspension or reduction of payments for a specific amount of time. The length of these plans is usually around 18 months.

All of these plans are for those who are in serious financial trouble and need help. They should never be used as means of simply trying to get a better deal with the lender.

Lenders are far more likely to work with those who have a past record of good payments and are having real hardships, but they are not very eager to work with those who are dishonest about their situation.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for The Thrifty Scot, please visit us at Compare Mortgages and Refinance
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