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Losing a home can be financially and personally devastating. Relief may be available.

 Here's key information to help you keep your home.

  • People facing money problems :

    If you are facing unemployment or have money problems, you may be able to keep your home if you know the right steps to take. Read on for important information and links to local organizations that can help you get through difficult times. Government organizations and the mortgage loan industry worked together to provide this information to help you keep your home.

  • Disaster area victims :

    If you live or work in an area declared a disaster by the President and the hurricane, tornado, flood, wildfire, or other natural or man-made event damaged your home or reduced your income, your lender will provide disaster relief:

    • For 90 days on an FHA-insured loan. 

    • In most cases for other loans .

  • Military personnel and spouses:

    If you or your spouse are on active military duty, you may qualify for a reduction in your interest rate resulting in lower payments. Read how the
    Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003 (formerly the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940) affects military homeowners.

Facing Money Problems:

 

Financial problems are most often associated with major life changes like:

  • Job loss.

  • Cuts in work hours or overtime.

  • Retirement.

  • Illness, injury, or death of a family member.

  • Divorce or separation.

If your family is facing any of these issues and you can't pay your bills, look closely at what you owe and what you earn. Eliminate unnecessary spending and reach out for help. Taking action right away can help you protect your family from the loss of your home.

 

Steps to take when you can't pay your mortgage loan:

 

1. Contact your current lender as soon as you have a problem

Many people avoid calling lenders about money troubles because we:

    • Feel embarrassed discussing money problems with others.

    • Believe that if lenders know we are in trouble, they will automatically rush to a collection agency or foreclosure (seize property for failure to pay a mortgage loan debt).

Lenders want to help borrowers keep their homes because:

    • Foreclosure is expensive for lenders, mortgage loan insurers and investors.

    • HUD and private mortgage loan insurance companies, plus investors like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, require lenders to work aggressively to help borrowers facing money problems.

Lenders have workout options (choices) to help you and:

    • These options work best when your mortgage loan is only one or two payments behind.

    • The farther behind you are on your payments, the fewer your options.

Don't assume that your problems will quickly correct themselves:

    • Don't lose valuable time being overly optimistic.

    • Contact your mortgage loan lender to discuss your circumstances as soon as you realize that you're unable to make your payments.

    • Expect your lender to explore many possible solutions for you, without guaranteeing any one particular solution.

Finding your lender:

Check the following sources to contact your lender:

    • Your monthly mortgage billing statement.

    • Your payment coupon book.

Information lenders need you to have ready when you call:

 

· Your mortgage loan account number.

· A brief explanation of your circumstances.

· Your recent income documents:

 Pay stubs.

 Benefit statements from Social Security, disability, unemployment, retirement, or public assistance.

Tax returns or a year-to-date profit and loss statement, if self-employed.

 A list of household expenses.

 

Expect to have more than one phone conversation with your lender. Typically, your lender will mail you a "loan workout" package. This package contains information, forms and instructions. If you want to be considered for assistance you must complete the forms fully and truthfully, then return them to your lender quickly. Your lender will review the complete package before talking with you about a solution.

Don't ignore mail from your lender i f you don't get in touch with your lender, your lender will try to contact you by mail and phone soon after you stop making payments. If your lender doesn't hear from you, they will have to start legal action leading to foreclosure. This will greatly increase the cost to bring your mortgage loan current.

 

Information for families with FHA-insured mortgage loans

The FHA provides many alternatives and ways for borrowers to get help. These may include mortgage loan modifications (changes), special forbearances (allowances), and other actions you can take to avoid foreclosure.

FHA works closely with customers who have FHA loans.  

Do you feel your lender is not responding to your questions?  

 We are ready to help...    Contact us at (888) 537-7007 

 

 

 

2. Talk to a mortgage loan advisor  

If you don't feel comfortable talking with your current lender, you should immediately contact a HUD-approved housing counseling agency and make an appointment with a counselor. Most approved counselor sessions are free or cost very little and your counselor can help you:

    • Review your financial situation, determine what options are available to you, and negotiate with your lender.

    • Learn which of the various workout arrangements the lender believes makes the most sense for you and your family, based on your circumstances.

    • Contact the lender to discuss a workout plan.

    • Avoid future credit problems before you get too far behind on mortgage payments.

    • Find information on services and programs in your area that provide financial, legal, medical or other assistance.

A good counselor will help you create a monthly budget plan to ensure you meet all your monthly expenses, including your mortgage payment.  Your personal financial plan will help you and your lender determine whether a reduced or delayed payment schedule could help you.  Many local housing counseling agencies are connected with national and regional housing counseling intermediaries (mediators).   The website for HUD-approved National and Regional Housing Counseling Intermediaries describes the full range of assistance offered and provides maps showing their member's locations.  3. Prioritize your debts (rank them by importance) You will need a new, tightened budget if you lose a job. Prioritize your bills and pay those most necessary for your family: food, utilities and shelter. Failing to pay any of your debts can seriously affect your credit rating, but if you stop making your mortgage payments you could lose your house. Try these suggestions to keep your home:

    • Whenever possible, use any income available after paying for food and utilities to pay your monthly mortgage payments.

    • If your income has dropped, consider getting rid of or cutting back on other expenses (such as dining out, entertainment, cable, or telephone services).

    • If you still do not have enough income, consider cashing out other resources like stocks, savings accounts, or personal property like a boat or a second car.

    • Take any responsible action that will save cash.

       

Besides speaking with your current lender, you may want to contact a Platinum Funding mortgage advisor that specializes in helping restructure debt by negotiating lower payments or long-term payment plans with your creditors.