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.

Settlement Conferences

A new law passed in February 2010 gives ALL mortgagors the right to a mandatory settlement conference. These conferences are simply a meeting between you, your lender, and a judge/court mediator. The end goal would be to work out an arrangement concerning the delinquent mortgage. The meetings are conducted face to face, and will typically be held in the Supreme Court Chambers of your jurisdiction.

The Housing Council has the ability to help homeowners obtain legal counsel in this matter. The majority of our clients end up being referred to Empire Justice, Volunteer Legal Services, or Legal Aid Society.  We are very successful in obtaining legal counsel for the majority of our clients.

What to Expect During Your Foreclosure Prevention Appointment

1.   To get started you can call us at 585-546-3700 x3015 or toll free at 866-669-1688. The intake specialist will set up an appointment for you to meet with a Foreclosure Prevention Counselor.  At that time, the intake specialist will send you a confirmation and a list of items you should bring to your appointment.  Note. If you prefer a phone appointment, the paperwork would need to be sent to us before we can schedule an appointment. Download Intake Forms

2.    During the appointment your counselor will discuss your situation with you including:

  • What caused (is causing) your hardship
  • We will help develop a budget to determine the best resolution (it will be helpful to know your monthly expenses before you meet with your counselor)
  • We may make suggestions of ways to increase income/decrease expenses.
  • We will explain the New York State Foreclosure Process and explain the varying workout options to stay in your home or transition out.

3.    At the end of the appointment the counselor will give you a client action plan.  This plan summarizes your situation, states the course of action and lists some strategies for you.

4.    After the 3rdparty authorization is set up with lender/servicer, your counselor will contact your lender/servicer to discuss your situation and options. If applicable, you and your counselor will gather the necessary documents to submit to your lender/servicer. The counselor will assist in submitting the application; they will also follow up on the status of your application until a plan has been set up.  Please keep in mind that the process of review can be long (60-90 days on average).

5.    Your counselor will continue to keep you updated on the progress of your application. Your file will remain open with your counselor through the entire process. And they will be able to answer ANY questions you have during this process.

Help for Seniors: Consider a Reverse Mortgage

  • If you are 62 years or older
  • Own your own home
  • Need a financial cushion to help with regular or unexpected expenses
  • Want to know what a Reverse mortgage is, with out the pressure to pursue one

Call The Housing Council to set up a HECM counseling session.

Our HUD approved Reverse Mortgage counselors can explain this complicated loan product to you here in our office or on the phone. A reverse mortgage can be a great tool for seniors to access the wealth they have in their home but it is important to understand how it works.

Our Reverse Mortgage Counselors do not have any association with the lender. Their only motivation is making sure you are educated on the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage process. We want to educate you so you can make the best financial decision for yourself.

Homeowners who complete the counseling session will be issued a certificate. This certificate is required to obtain a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage.

If you have questions on how a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage could benefit you or senior you care about to achieve financial stability and independence, please call 585-546-3700 ext 3033.

Click here to visit the Housing and Urban Development website (hud.gov) to learn more about a HECM reverse mortgage.

When accessing our services if you need assistance due to a language barrier, mobility impairments, visual or hearing impairments or other disabilities please let us know in advance so we can provide the necessary accommodations.

For more information call The Housing Council at 585-546-3700
e-mail us at info@thehousingcouncil.org

Reverse Mortgage Counseling

Call The Housing Council to set up a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) counseling session. Our HUD approved Reverse Mortgage counselors can explain this complicated loan product to you here in our office or on the phone. A reverse mortgage can be a great tool for seniors to access the wealth they have in their home but it is important to understand how it works. Reverse Mortgage Counselors do not have any association with the lender. Their only motivation is making sure you are educated on the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage process. We want to educate you so you can make the best financial decision for yourself.

If you have questions on how a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage could benefit you or senior you care about to achieve financial stability and independence, please call 585-546-3700 ext 3033.



When accessing our services if you need assistance due to a language barrier, mobility impairments, visual or hearing impairments or other disabilities please let us know in advance so we can provide the necessary accommodations.