What Homeowners Should Do When They Can’t Pay Their Mortgage

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: My sister and her husband are in a bind. They fell behind on their mortgage payments when my sister stopped working last year to stay home with their young kids and her husband lost his job around the same time. What should they do? Brenda, Paramus, NJ

A: Hi Brenda, the first thing I think your sister and her husband should do is reach out to their lender or mortgage servicing company and find out what options they may offer to assist them. Your sister’s lender may offer forbearance or loan modification assistance that may help them and it’s most beneficial to homeowners to get that assistance as soon as possible when they fall behind on mortgage payments. The other thing I suggest they do is take an honest inventory of their financial situation and determine if their financial hardship is temporary or more permanent. Temporary financial problems are easier to address and remedy than longer lasting, persistent financial problems are. Lastly, I suggest your sister and her husband be wary of any company, attorney or individual who asks them for money upfront to help them. If they don’t have the money to pay their mortgage, it doesn’t make sense to pay for help that may never materialize. When you find yourself in a financial hole, the last thing you should do is dig yourself in deeper. Thanks for your question, Brenda. I hope things work out for your sister and her husband.
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