What Options Do I Have if I Can’t Make My Mortgage Payments?
One of the worst nightmares one can experience as a homeowner is not keeping up with mortgage payments. Unfortunately, there are countless reasons this situation develops, and with the pandemic, the financial challenges many face in 2021 have doubled.
So, what can you do if you fall behind or know that you will be very soon? Check out some tips that Attorney Marc Brown recommends to hopefully avoid foreclosure action against your South Florida home.
Steps to Get Out of Mortgage Delinquency
Once you start falling behind in payments, your lender is legally required to reach out to you and explain what loss mitigation options are available Here are some suggestions to avoid foreclosure:
You and your lender may be able to agree to suspend or reduce your payments temporarily. This is known as forbearance and typically lasts for no longer than a year. Once this period is over, you have to pay back the total amount suspended or reduced along with any interest.
Modifying your loan can help you negotiate changes to provisions in your loan. This could be having your interest rate adjusted, adding more time to the loan, or getting monthly payments reduced to make it affordable again.
This method requires you to take out an entirely new loan at a lower interest rate, which means you will have to go through the qualification process all over again. However, if successful, it pays off your old loan and lets you start fresh with a new one.
While you won’t get to keep your home, selling it to avoid foreclosure is an avenue that many homeowners consider when falling behind on their payments or knowing they can’t keep them up for much longer. However, keep in mind that if this is a short sale situation where you sell it for less than it’s worth, it’s possible the lender could sue you for the difference.
Additional Tips to Protect Your Home from Foreclosure
Don’t Put Off Asking for Help
If you know you won’t make your payments, reach out to your lender first. Also, consider speaking with a qualified foreclosure defense attorney about your situation. Knowing what your options are can help you make the best decision about how to resolve the issue.
Don’t Ignore Lender Notices
While you may feel anxious, reading notices from your lender can provide you with important resource information to help you get out of delinquency. It also keeps you up-to-date on any legal deadlines coming up, including pending legal action against you.
Speak with a Knowledgeable South Florida Foreclosure Attorney
As mentioned earlier, knowing your options as well as your rights as a homeowner are crucial. An attorney can inform you about state and federal foreclosure laws that will impact your rights and ability to resolve your defaulted loan.
Speak with a Housing Counselor
The U.S. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides homeowners in the Ft. Lauderdale and South Florida area with housing counseling. These individuals can assist you in understanding default laws, provide financial guidance, and even help you negotiate with your lender.
Use Caution When Contacting Foreclosure Counseling Companies
The first rule to remember when seeking foreclosure counseling is that it shouldn’t cost you anything. Use your money for paying your past due mortgage payments and late fees. If you get calls from companies that make money by negotiating with lenders, be careful. They often demand expensive fees for services you could get through HUD at little or no cost.
Avoid Foreclosure Recovery Scammers
If you are contacted by a foreclosure counselor or recovery firm that promises they can stop pending legal action against you if you give them the authority to act on your behalf, beware! Often they will have you sign documentation that could provide them with title to your property and then have you removed if you don’t pay the monthly housing fee they demand.
Speak with a Trusted Foreclosure Defense Attorney
For aggressive legal representation and high-quality legal services, look no further than the law firm of Marc Brown, P.A. With more than a decade of experience representing lenders in south Florida, attorney Marc Brown has established a reputation for legal excellence and outstanding client service. To schedule a no-cost legal consultation regarding foreclosures and deficiency judgments, reach out to the law offices of Marc Brown today.