Can’t Pay Your Mortgage?

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If you find yourself waking up at 2 a.m., wondering how you’re going to pay your mortgage, you’re not alone.  Since the start of the Great Recession, thousands of people who never thought they’d be worried about money are struggling every month just to stay afloat.  Or, perhaps your home is now worth far less than what you owe and you wonder if it makes sense to continue to pay on negative equity.

Everyone’s situation is unique, and I certainly don’t profess to have all of the answers, but over the last four years I’ve been able to help many people find a solution to their mortgage woes.  I am not an accountant or a lawyer, so I certainly encourage you to consult the appropriate professional for answers to your specific questions.

I have written a short guide book that I would like to offer to you free of charge, with no obligation.  The guide book is designed to provide you with an overview of your different options so that you are in a better position to make the decision that’s right for you.  It begins with a one-page overview, followed by more in-depth discussion of the various options.  Click here to request your free guide, “What to Do When You Can’t Pay Your Mortgage”.

If you can’t pay your mortgage please don’t ignore the problem.   Chances are you won’t win the lottery, and your financial troubles are real.  As soon as you are 30 days late on your payment, the lender’s clock starts ticking.  There is help and you have several options.  Start by reviewing all of the information found at www.makinghomeaffordable.gov and call 888-995-HOPE (4673) to speak with a HUD approved housing counselor.  It is okay to ask for help and advice.  Just remember that time is of the essence.  Acting early allows you to make the decision that is best for you.  Wait too long and your choices disappear.

My real estate practice is in San Diego County.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me at 619-846-9249 if I can be of service to you.

What to Do When You Can’t Pay Your Mortgage

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Bankruptcy and Foreclosure

 A frequent question I receive is, “Can filing bankruptcy save my home?”  The answer is “no” and “maybe”.  And please note that I’m not an attorney and sharing this information is not intended as legal advice.

 

Finally, it appears that something is working to help save homes and stop foreclosures.  In a report released on Monday, NeighborWorks America revealed that a homeowner who works with a housing counselor is nearly two times more likely to avoid foreclosure than those that receive no counseling.

NeighborWorks America is the administrator of the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program (NFMC) established by the federal government in 2008.  The first two years of the program were analyzed by the Urban Institute of Washington, D.C, and revealed the value of counseling intervention in not only reducing the number of foreclosures for homeowners who were counseled, but in mortgage modification.  Homeowners who worked with a counselor to get their mortgages modified ended up with reductions averaging $555 a month, compared to savings of $288 for those that did not work with a counselor. 

Another benefit of working with a counselor is that the re-default rate is lower.  After receiving a loan modification 49% of non-counseled borrowers re-default after 8 months, compared to 36% of those counseled.  This still seems high, but overall the report clearly demonstrated the value of counseling as 55% of those in foreclosure that sought counseling were able to cure the foreclosure and save their home within 12 months.

The report did not indicate if the lenders involved in the modifications reduced principal balances or simply modified rate and term.  And while counseling may be useful in many cases, I still believe that principal reductions are the only real tool to stop the foreclosure flood as counseling does not address the issue of strategic default.