As a homeowner, the last thing you want to do is fall behind on your mortgage payments and risk foreclosure. Unfortunately, over the course of the past year during the pandemic, millions of Americans struggled to keep up with their bills. So how can you make sure you stay current on your payments during uncertain times? ACCC offers these tips for avoiding foreclosure.
Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure
Rearrange Your Budget
When you start experiencing financial difficulties, the first thing to do is to rearrange your budget. Are there areas in which you can cut back? Trim your expenses as much as you can if it means avoiding foreclosure. If you are having trouble making your mortgage payments, you may want to dip into your emergency fund if you have one. This is exactly the situation in which you should use it! You can hold off on saving money and paying off debt until you get your necessities paid for.
Understand Your Mortgage and Rights
Look through your mortgage documents to see what your lender may do if you can’t make your payments. Look up your state’s foreclosure laws as well. Every state has different laws, so it is important you find the ones for your state specifically. Contact your state’s housing bureau if you are unsure.
Call Your Lender
If you know that even after rearranging your budget, you won’t be able to afford your mortgage, it might be time to call your lender directly. They may be able to help you come up with a plan to avoid foreclosure. If you have trouble getting in touch with your lender or mortgage services, there are organizations that can contact them on your behalf. It is important that you don’t wait too long before you call your lender. If you’re already missing payments, it may be too late to work out a payment plan with them.
Don’t Fall for Foreclosure Prevention Scams
Be careful of mortgage relief scams. According to the FTC, some scam artists may tell you that if you pay them a fee, they can negotiate with your lender to prevent foreclosure. Before doing business with any company that claims they can offer you help for an upfront fee, do your research. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. These scam artists will not help you in your goal of avoiding foreclosure and will only make your situation worse.
Final Tips on Avoiding Foreclosure
Financial hardships are inevitably stressful, especially when you are at risk of losing your home. Don’t ignore the issues, because that will only make things worse. Avoiding foreclosure may seem impossible when you’re struggling to keep up with the bills, but by following the aforementioned tips, you should be able to stay in control.