Falling behind on your mortgage can be a frightening experience. You’re worried about losing your home, you feel like there’s nothing you can do, and you have no idea what direction to go in. Once you get 90 days behind on your mortgage payments, the lender can start foreclosure proceedings, so you want to make sure not to get to that point. While the situation might seem hopeless, all is not lost. There are several things you can do when you’re underwater on your mortgage.
Don’t pretend the problem isn’t happening
Acting like you’re not having mortgage problems is the easiest way to make the issue even larger. It may take all the pride you have, but you need to start seeking help if you don’t know what to do on your own. There’s no shame at all in doing so, especially if it helps you stay in your home.
Contact your lender
You can’t do anything without your lender’s help, and it’s important to show them that you’re committed to resolving the problem. Contact your lender immediately and see what options are out there for you and your specific situation. In some cases, you may be eligible for a forbearance or a specific repayment plan, but you won’t know until you ask.
Don’t fall for a mortgage scam
There are so many scammers out there that are just waiting to be aware of you and your mortgage problem. In 2012 alone, there was over $13 billion in loans containing fraud. It’s important to choose a reputable lender, deal only with them, and do your research so you can avoid becoming a victim of a mortgage scam that could take your house and a lot more.
Get help from a government agency
The most important government agency to contact if you’re underwater on your mortgage is the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). They have special counselors that can assist you in figuring out how to get back on track. The sooner you call, the better.
Consider selling the home
If all else fails, selling your home may be your only option. Even if you refinance or get granted a forbearance, your house might just no longer be an affordable long term option for you. However, selling your home is a last resort, and should only be considered if you really have no other options.
When you’re behind on your mortgage, the most important thing is not to panic. There are more options out there than you think that you can use to your advantage. The sooner you make the necessary phone calls and get started on the process of fixing the issue, the less stress will be on your shoulders and the sooner you can feel at ease in your home once again.