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Tips For Homeowners Behind on Their Mortgage

1. CONTACT YOUR LENDER
It’s a good idea to keep the lines of communication open. Your lender can be very helpful in explaining your options for keeping the home OR to stall the foreclosure process. If you continuously ignore phone calls from your lender, they may assume you have abandoned the home.

2. REDUCE EXPENSES
The further behind you become on your mortgage, the more expensive the fees and costs become. Your #1 expense is the mortgage payment.  If it is a choice between paying credit cards or the mortgage, you should pay the mortgage as long as your lender/servicer will accept a payment.  If you fall too far behind, the lender/servicer may not accept a payment, as they will want to start the foreclosure process.  It DOES NOT mean they won’t work with you. The foreclosure process will continue while you are attempting to work out a solution with your lender.   The easiest expenses to reduce are “optional” expenses: cable TV, cell phones, gym memberships, eating out, et

3. SAVE MONEY
If your lender/servicer won’t accept a mortgage payment (typically after 60 days past due) and you have one, save it. Your lender/servicer may require some money as a contribution once you are offered a permanent resolution.

4. OPEN ALL MAIL FROM YOUR LENDER/SERVICER
The first notices you receive will offer good information about foreclosure prevention options.  Later mail may include important notice of pending legal action.  In NYS you will also receive a letter about your settlement conference.

5. AVOID FORECLOSURE PREVENTION SCAMS
Many for–profit companies and attorneys will contact you promising that they will save your home.  They may also promise to greatly reduce your monthly payment or interest rate. While most of these businesses are legitimate, they will charge you thousands of dollars for something you can do yourself, or a HUD approved agency will provide for free. Some of these companies may even attempt to try to get you to sign your title over to them.  Never sign any document without reading and understanding WHAT you are signing, or getting legal advice from an attorney.

6. CONTACT A HUD-APPROVED HOUSING COUNSELING AGENCY
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds free or low cost housing counseling nationwide. Housing counselors can help you understand the legal process of foreclosure, develop a realistic budget, and communicate with your lender/servicer on your behalf.