For many people, living paycheck to paycheck is just part of life. These 6 tips if you can’t pay your mortgage payment will help guide you through the process in the event something happens and you land in a situation where you cannot afford your mortgage payment any longer.
First and foremost be honest with yourself and the bank. The world is not over just because you can’t pay your mortgage payment, however what you do next will determine how things go for the next 90 days. Don’t think you can ignore it or that skipping a payment won’t matter and that nobody will know. One of the biggest mistakes people make in this situation is skipping a payment and trying to catch up. It’s likely that in 30 days when the next payment is due unless your financial situation has improved you’re now going to be behind and when that happens it’s very difficult to catch up. When you experience a challenge to make your mortgage payment, call your lender.
Honesty is the best policy
Admitting that you need help is tough for many people especially when it comes to finances. You’ll want to swallow your pride and explain your hardship to the bank right away so that can assist you with working out a resolution. Some banks will allow you to skip the payment and actually put the extra payment on the back-end. Additionally if you’re honest upfront with the lending institution then they will be more likely to want and be able to help you.
Can’t Pay Your Mortgage Payment? Don’t even think about skipping a payment!!!
In the event you need to or have already skipped a payment and don’t have a plan to catch up then you need to read this section. Do your research and see what options you have. You can still call the bank and talk to them, it’s not too late! Some options that might be available to you are deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, short sale or loan modification.
Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure is when the homeowner gives up the home and gives it back to the bank in lieu of the foreclosure. This is an option that will prevent a foreclosure from going on your credit record. Short sale is a good option if the homeowners owes more than the balance of the loan. When this happens the homeowner can use an agent to sell their home for fair market value and sometimes the banks will forgive the balance or 1099 the homeowner as taxable income for the variance in sales price versus what’s owed. Loan modifications can be done by the homeowner calling the bank, explaining their issue and requesting (usually two to five years) a modification of interest thus reducing the payment.
Banks are in the business to make money not lose it
As mentioned, honesty is the best policy but just because you’re up front with the banks and explain your issues doesn’t mean they can or will help you. One thing you definitely don’t want to do though is just sit back and hope things get better, that’s the absolute worst thing you can do. In fact not doing anything will show a bank that you simply don’t care and really who wants to help somebody that can’t be honest about the situation? Lastly, if you’ve exhausted all efforts and simply can’t pay your mortgage payment and foreclosure is the only way out then contact a lawyer and get proper legal advice. For more information on the foreclosure process, check out our article Avoid Foreclosure.