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What to do When You Can’t Pay Your Mortgage


How to Handle a Mortgage You Cannot Pay

Not being able to pay your mortgage is stressful.  After years of saving and planning to own your own home, a temporary financial crisis, such as an illness, or a more long-term problem like a job loss, may be putting you at risk of foreclosure.

You need to take action in order to protect yourself and your household.  This may be the hardest part.  Sometimes, when things are overwhelming, it’s hard to know where to start.  With information and a clear plan, you can begin to take control of this challenging situation.

Lenders can begin foreclosure proceedings after three missed payments.  Once you believe that you are going to have trouble paying your mortgage, you should call your loan servicer.  Your loan servicer may not be the same company that approved your mortgage. Be honest and tell them what is going on in your life and how this is affecting your finances.  With this information, your loan servicer may be able to tell you what your options are.

To get to the root of your financial difficulties, seek out the services of a non-profit housing counselor.  This person can look at your current financial situation and help you to make a plan to get back on your feet.  You may also be able to get assistance from a foreclosure specialist, but beware of foreclosure rescue scams.

You may also want to seek advice from a lawyer or from a legal aid organization that assists low- and moderate-income households.  These professionals can guide you through the various scenarios and help you make the choice that is right for you in order to regain your financial footing.

Tools to Help

What if you can’t pay your mortgage?

What to do when you can no longer pay your mortgage

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What You Can Do Right Now

Information is great. But taking small steps now can lead to big changes.
  • Today
  • Reach out for help.
  • Next Week
  • Take charge of the situation. Make an appointment with your loan servicer and/or a housing counselor.
  • If necessary, make an action plan to prevent foreclosure.
  • During the Next Few Months
  • Work with the housing counselor to figure out if you current housing situation is sustainable over the long-term.