If you’ve recently fallen behind on mortgage payments, or are on the brink of missing your next payment, you’re not alone. Since March 2020, millions of Americans have had to temporarily pause or reduce their mortgage payments, reports the Mortgage Bankers Association.
If you’re facing financial hardship, there are several state and federal mortgage assistance options for avoiding foreclosure, including mortgage forbearance for certain types of loans.
Here’s what you can do to get back on track with your monthly mortgage payments.
Where to start if you can’t pay your mortgage
If you’ve recently fallen behind on mortgage payments or are about to, consider the following:
Contact your lender
As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm. If you’re facing economic difficulties, your monthly mortgage payment is past due or you’re worried you won’t make your next installment, contact your mortgage servicer right away.
In addition to collecting your monthly mortgage payment, a mortgage servicer may be able to help struggling homeowners avoid further delinquencies. The earlier you look for help, the more mortgage assistance options you’ll have access to.
By requesting mortgage relief early or before you’ve missed a payment, you may be able to develop a tailored plan of action with your mortgage servicer. For instance, you may be eligible for mortgage forbearance or a loan modification.
However, if you’ve already been served with foreclosure papers, your mortgage relief options will be limited.
Your mortgage servicer’s contact details are often included in your monthly mortgage statement. You can also access your loan servicer’s contact information on its website.
Also keep in mind that while the due date for your monthly mortgage payment is probably on the first of each month, you have until the fifteenth to make a payment without being charged late fees, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Your loan won’t go into default until you are over 30 days late in making payments, in which case there may be additional fees.
Be prepared to provide the following information
Your mortgage lender or loan servicer will likely inquire into the following to determine which mortgage assistance programs are available to you:
- The reason for your financial hardship
You may not be able to afford your current mortgage payments for a number of reasons.
Examples of financial hardship may include:
- Loss of income or reduced income due to job loss, reduced hours or death
- Natural disaster
- Illness or disability
- Divorce or separation