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No one is immune to financial problems. A medical emergency, divorce or job loss can wreak havoc for even the most financially secure. There is no embarrassment in seeking help; in fact, that is the responsible thing to do. If you are worried that you will not be able to make your mortgage payment or have already missed a payment, here is some basic advice that we routinely offer our clients:
Prioritize Your Mortgage
If you have missed a mortgage payment, it is time to put your finances in some kind of order. Take a hard look at all your bills and list them in order of priority. Paying your mortgage and keeping your basic utilities on should be at the top of the list. You might have to reduce your food budget, stop spending on discretionary items or miss a credit card payment in order to keep up with your mortgage. Your home is a large investment, and you do not want to lose it because of missed payments. This is going to require some sacrifice on your part.
Reach Out to Your Lender
It is important to let your lender know about your situation. Many lenders are willing to work with you so that you can keep your home. They have programs to help you. Do not ignore their calls or letters. That only makes things worse. If you have missed a payment, you do not have much time to come up with a solution. Foreclosure proceedings can begin as early as 120 days after the missed payment. You have this brief window to work out an alternative to foreclosure.
Get Educated about Your Options
Your situation is not hopeless. There are a wide variety of options that can help you out. Here are just a few:
Consult a Mortgage Counselor
There are HUD-approved mortgage counselors available to help you navigate this complicated situation so that you can mitigate your losses. A good mortgage counselor can assist you in understanding what resources are available to help you out.