Immediately call your mortgage servicer, if you are worried about missing a mortgage payment or if you can’t pay your mortgage. To receive free, expert help on avoiding foreclosure, you should also contact a HUD-approved housing counselor.
First, contact your mortgage loan servicer:
In your monthly mortgage loan statement, you can find the telephone number for your mortgage servicer. Look into the mortgage loan coupon book your lender gave you, in case you don’t receive a monthly mortgage statement. You can also visit the website of your mortgage servicer to get help from there. Moreover, you can contact a HUD-approved housing counselor for assistance, if you don’t have any knowledge about your mortgage servicer.
Be prepared to explain the following when you contact your servicer:
- What was the reason for you to fail in making your payment
- Whether this problem is permanent or temporary
- Detailed information related to your income and expenses and also some other assets such as cash in your bank
- If you have received permanent change of station (PCS) orders and you are a service member. (Because of your military move this is crucial to mention, because you may qualify for loss mitigation options.)
Several mortgage providing servicers have programs to assist people in avoiding foreclosure. Your servicer will assess your financial situation to consider all of the alternative options that might be open to you. Your mortgage servicer might also ask you to fill out an application of mortgage assistance. They will let you know what loss mitigation options are available to you and offer you the same after it reviews your completed application.
Then, contact a HUD-approved housing counselor:
You can find a housing counselor to assist you through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The HUD counselor can help you through the following steps:
- Consult your current situation and asses whether you can qualify for any programs or need extra help
- Assist you in understanding the loss mitigation options offered by your servicer and help you in assessing which options might be useful for you
- Guide you throughout the process in which you work with your servicer and any paperwork or any other programs you might need
- Assist you at low or no cost with credit card balances, budgeting, or any other financial complications that might be making it hard for you to pay your mortgage loan
You can always use the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) tool of “Find a Counselor” to acquire a list of agencies related to housing counseling within your neighborhood that are also HUD-approved. Moreover, you can also call on the HOPE™ Hotline. You can access this national hotline by calling (888) 995-HOPE (4673) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You might also need to consult an attorney; if you have been served with legal papers or are facing imminent foreclosure.
What options your servicer might offer?
Your servicer might make the following options available to you:
- Acquire a loan modification
- Acquire forbearance
- Give back your home to your lender via a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure
- Short-sell your property
- Work out a repayment plan
Look out for Scams
A housing counselor who is HUD-approved can assist you in figuring out which options may work right for you out of all the available options. To avoid foreclosure, you don’t have to pay anyone to help you out. All the help you require is already available to you at no cost from your mortgage servicer, or through a housing counseling agency which is also HUD-approved.
The foreclosure scammers just take your money and tell you that they’ll save your home from foreclosure, so you have to keep your eyes open for them.
Watch out for the scam warning signs listed below:
- If a company guarantees that it will get your mortgage’s terms changed.
- If a company guarantees that you won’t lose your house.
- For any help, you’re asked to pay upfront.
- You’re told to send your payments to somebody else instead of your servicer or mortgage company.
- The company proposes to perform a forensic audit.
- They tell you to stop paying your monthly mortgage.
- The company uses a logo that is similar to a government seal, but in reality, it’s a little different, or they say that they’re affiliated with the government.
- They ask you to sign some documents that you don’t understand or to sign over the title to your home.
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