What to Do if You Can’t Pay the Mortgage
Sitting down to pay bills and discovering there’s not enough money to cover the mortgage is a shocking moment. Fortunately, there are options available to you if you find you can’t make your mortgage payment. But you must act quickly to have the best chance of a positive outcome. Here are the steps to take if you can’t pay your mortgage:
Don’t Panic — There’s no doubt it’s a scary and confusing time, but panicking won’t help the situation. Try to stay as calm as possible. Keeping a level head will help you stay focused on what to do next.
Act Immediately — You need to get in touch with your mortgage servicer as soon as you realize you can’t make a payment to avoid the danger of default or foreclosure. The sooner you act, the more options may be available to you. Those choices diminish if you wait too long. If you’re not sure how to contact your mortgage servicer, there are several ways to find that information. Their phone number will be on your monthly mortgage loan statement. If you don’t receive a mailed statement, look for the number in your mortgage coupon book, or search for it on the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS).
Be Prepared — You will need several pieces of information ready when you call your mortgage loan servicer. These include: the reason you can’t make a payment, whether you anticipate the hardship to be temporary or long-lasting, a rundown of your other expenses, and information about your sources of income and other assets.
Understand Your Options — Depending on your situation, your options may include refinancing the loan, receiving a forbearance or a loan modification, participating in short sale of your home, and more. To help you fully understand your options and help you make the best choice for your situation, your mortgage servicer may recommend Housing Counseling from a HUD-approved nonprofit such as Take Charge America.
We understand that not being able to make a mortgage payment is scary, but it doesn’t have to lead to a worst-case scenario. The most important thing is to act quickly and work proactively with your loan servicer to achieve the best possible outcome.
Find more information on how to prioritize bill when money is tight here.