Today’s real estate market is a volatile one; prices are at record levels and Interest rates are favorable, but foreclosures are increasing. Wages haven’t kept up with home prices and some buyers who had to stretch to find a way to obtain a mortgage in the first place are having trouble making their payments. Usually, if a buyer cannot meet his or her mortgage obligation, the lender forecloses, taking the home and leaving the buyer without a place to live and a tarnished credit record. If you are having problems paying your mortgage, can you avoid this scenario?
Depending on your type of mortgage and your lender, you may have other options. Most lenders, wary of rising foreclosure rates, would rather work out some sort of solution than take your home. Lenders are in the business of lending money, not selling houses, and the process of foreclosure is a tedious one that most institutions would rather avoid. The first thing you should do if you find yourself with a problem making your payments is to call your lender and discuss the matter with them. The sooner you contact them, the more likely you are to work out a solution that’s agreeable to both of you.
Here are a few possible options for buyers who are having temporary cash flow problems:
- Your lender may agree to temporarily suspend payments until you are able to resume paying them. Alternatively, your lender may be willing to restructure or refinance your loan.
- If your loan is insured by the department Housing and Urban Development or the FHA, you may be eligible for a one-time payment to bring your mortgage payments up to date. For details, contact the HUD or FHA directly.
- You may be able to sell your home to pay off your loan. This is clearly not the first choice for many homeowners, but it is a better option than losing your home outright. Rising real estate prices during the last few years have left many homeowners with a lot of equity. You may be able to sell your home for more than you owe, which will relieve your debt and leave you with some cash left over.
- Your lender may be willing to simply take the home back, rather than force you out of it. You lose the house, but your credit rating will not likely suffer.
These are just a few choices that may be available to you. Your lender may offer other solutions, as well, so don’t’ hesitate to call them if you find yourself in financial trouble. It is far better to contact the lender and tell them of your problems than to have them call you and ask, “Where is our money?” Be forthright and tell them that you want to work something out, and you may find a solution that allows you to keep your home. It never hurts to ask.
About the Author
© Copyright 2005 by Retro Marketing. Charles Essmeier is the owner of Retro Marketing, a firm devoted to informational Websites, including HomeEquityHelp.com, a site devoted to information regarding mortgages and home equity loans.
Written by: Charles Essmeier