“I’m Falling Behind On Mortgage Payments, Are There Ways To Fix The Problem?” First – You’re Not Alone, AND Yes, There Are Ways To Fix The Problem
Thousands of people struggle to make their mortgage payments, especially after significant life changes, like loss of employment, death in the family, changes in income, and other factors that are out of our control. But, if you have just begun falling behind on your mortgage payments, you can still take control, and you have a number of options and strategies available to remedy the problem.
Before Considering Any Of These Options, You Need Income
If you are just beginning to look into ways to fix your mortgage problems, first and foremost – before you can put a strategy into place – you must have a form of income, or you need to find one.
These Are The Options That Can Help You
Home Loan Modification
Home loan modification is usually the best option for those who need a reduction in their monthly mortgage payments; it is the most popular solution. In a loan modification, we look at the principal balance of the loan, and the total of the missed payments. These numbers are added together to establish a new principal balance for the loan. Then, using a new interest rate of around 4%, and a new term of 30-40 years, a new monthly payment is calculated. If you have enough income to support that monthly payment, your problem is solved.
To learn more about loan modification, read our post: Why Is Loan Modification The Best Tool?
Refinancing could be a good option for you if you have a difference in the amount owed on the home and the value of your home, also termed equity. Refinancing could allow you to get a new mortgage and reduce your interest rate. However, this is usually only an option if you have not missed payments yet, only if you are just beginning to realize that your mortgage payments are too high to manage, but you’re still current on payments.
Temporary Interest Rate Reduction
A temporary interest rate reduction could be appropriate for you if your income has recently been reduced, but there is a foreseeable increase again in the near future; it will reduce your monthly mortgage payments for a short period of time. For example, it could be appropriate if you have taken a temporary leave of absence from work, or your hours have recently been cut, but they will return to normal soon. A temporary interest rate reduction is only a short term fix to the problem, and the issue must be addressed at a larger scale if your decrease in income is not short term.
Forbearance results in a temporary reduction or suspension of mortgage payments. It could be the answer to your mortgage payment problems if the problem is temporary and has an end in sight. For example, forbearance could be an appropriate solution if you had to take a medical leave of absence from work, you have experienced a death in the family of someone who contributed to the household, natural disaster has affected your living arrangements – like a flood or hurricane, or another issue that has affected your home short-term. Before entering into a forbearance agreement, it is crucial that you’re assured you will have income in the near future, enough to repay the payments you had missed during the forbearance period.
This could be a viable option if reduction in income will be solved within the period of one month. Temporary indulgence grants the borrower a 30-day grace period during which they don’t have to pay their mortgage. There must be a concrete date under which you will be able to resume making your mortgage payments.
A repayment plan is only granted when your financial hardship has worked itself out, and you have recovered financially. You should only look into a repayment plan if you are able to prove to your lender that you can resume making your normal monthly payments again; while also paying back your missed payments. Under a repayment plan, you usually have to pay back all of your missed payments within a 1 to 2 year period.
You must pay back your lender in one lump sum the total of missed mortgage payments. This is usually only a good option if your financial troubles have resolved and you have access to or have saved a large sum of money.
You must pay back 50% of what you owe, or more, in a lump sum. You also must negotiate a plan to repay the remaining amount due in missed payments within a specific timeframe.
Don’t Wait To Find A Solution That Works For You
We know it can be confusing to know what option will work best for you, but we are here to help. Our site has a number of resources for you to research all of your possible solutions. But don’t wait. The problem will only get worse if you do not employ a strategy early on. And as time goes on and you miss more and more mortgage payments, it becomes more difficult to find a solution you are eligible for, and if your home goes into foreclosure, the chances of being able to save it decrease drastically if you don’t take action early on.
If you don’t think that any of the aforementioned options will work for you, bankruptcy may be an option: read our post, How Does Bankruptcy Help Save My Home In Foreclosure In New Jersey?