- 1) Start by contacting your lender or loan servicer.
Unfortunately, many people on the brink of missing a payment say that banks won’t do anything for them until the homeowner misses a payment. As frustrating as this scenario can be to deal with, it’s still wise to advise your lender of problems you may be facing in order to inquire about any special programs, loan modification initiatives or other options they may offer.
- 2) Seek reputable housing counseling.
Even after the HUD funding cuts to mortgage counseling agencies, some agencies may still opt to provide this service free of charge to consumers. Others housing counseling agencies simply won’t be able to afford to provide this service at no cost, and will thus begin to charge consumers. You’ll only know if an agency’s mortgage counseling help is free or not by contacting the entity in question.
So be prepared to call a few agencies to track down free assistance. If you can’t find any free agencies, you’ll have to pay for mortgage counseling. Such help can be well worth it if the advice and information you get from a HUD-certified credit counseling agency helps you remain in your home. To locate HUD-approved housing counselors, call 888-995-4673 or visit http://makinghomeaffordable.gov.
- 3) Never sign over your deed.
Be wary of people who approach you claiming they can help you “save” your home. Some of these are foreclosure rescue scams. Also, never sign over the deed, or agree to transfer title to your home—even if someone promises to let you stay in the house or rent it. Doing so could put your ownership of the property in jeopardy.
- 4) Only make payments to your lender or mortgage servicer.
Even if a third party helps you, perhaps by serving as a “middleman” to negotiate with your lender or loan servicer, don’t make any mortgage payments to this third party. Don’t even agree to turn over your housing payment to a third party under the notion that they will make mortgage payments on your behalf. If the third party doesn’t make payments as agreed, you will have very little recourse to recoup your funds and get caught up with your lender.