When a job is lost, accident or illness strikes, or another economic hardships occurs, many people find themselves behind on mortgage payments. The ultimate risk is foreclosure and losing your home. This can be devastating in more ways than one. In addition to losing your shelter and security, losing a home to foreclosure can hurt your credit score, making it harder to borrow money in the future. Fortunately, there are ways to recover from missed mortgage payments and avoid foreclosure.
Contact Your Lender First
First, know your mortgage lender doesn’t want to go thorough foreclosure any more than you do. It’s an expensive process, and it’s to the lenders benefit for you to stay in your home and continue making payments. Hence, when you miss your first payment, you will receive a notice of default, in which the lender asks you to contact them to figure out a solution. Often, you can make arrangements that will allow you keep your house.
One option to you is forbearance, in which you contact your lender and ask for mortgage payments to be temporarily suspended. This will involve some paperwork, and the loan will still accrue interest, but you won’t be expected to make payments on the principal for a set period of time.
Often used in conjunction with forbearance is loan reinstatement, in which you agree to pay off the outstanding payments in a lump sum. This could work if you’re expecting a tax refund soon or if you have other short-term borrowing options.
Rather than making up your missed mortgage payments all at once, another common solution is a repayment plan, in which you gradually pay back outstanding amounts alongside your usual monthly payments.
Rent it Out
If you have the option to, renting out rooms in your home can help you catch up when you are behind on mortgage payments.
In some cases where your mortgage has simply become unaffordable, a loan modification may be in order. In this case, you make adjustments to the repayment terms, possibly reducing the interest rates or extending the life of the loan to make it more affordable. In some cases, you might be able to get the principal amount reduced, but that’s very rare.
Sell the Home