“I have fallen behind on my mortgage. What are my options?”
The first thing that I would like to tell you Mr. and Ms. Homeowner is DON’T PANIC!! There are alot of us out here who care and who have been there. You have options and you are not alone.
You are most likely thinking “How can I keep this house?” or “I am going to do whatever possible to keep my house.” Your options in this case would be to:
1. Pay all delinquent payments and fees to your mortgage company AND keep the mortgage current. The mortgage company will not accept partial payments. -OR-
2. Call your mortgage company to discuss your situation and to see if you qualify for a loan modification or another program. -OR-
3. If you know of a GOOD Bankruptcy Attorney, this is another option for you.
If your situation was just a slight financial hiccup and you are able to catch up AND maintain your mortgage payment, then take care of this immediately and pass this article on to a friend or family member who may be in trouble. Now, if you are not in a position to take advantage of option 1 above, then sit down next to me and lets talk for a moment. If your financial situation has changed for any reason, you really have some thinking to do. Chances are, if you are behind on your mortgage, then you are most likely behind on other bills including a car note, maxed out credit cards, etc. Ms. Pride and Mr. Ego are asking you, “What will the neighbors say?” Well guess what my dear friend, the Jones’ that you are trying to keep up with are probably going through the same thing. Consider coming from under this mortgage, remove your emotional attachment from that building (that is all it is), remove the stress that is keeping you up at night, stop the financial bleeding, and sell that house!
Have you received a Notice of Default (NOD) from your lender because you have fallen behind on your regular payment, modification, or bankruptcy? An NOD is public knowledge and you will start receiving an enormous amount of calls from real estate agents (yep, from me), investors, and other professionals. There is no “list” to be removed from. In my zip code alone, there are 468 NOD’s. Better to have a short sale on your credit then a foreclosure. Keep reading, there really is a better life after this mess.
As your property may be upside down, find a real estate professional in your area who specializes in short sales. If you do not know of one, contact me and I will find one in your area. A “short sale” is when you owe more for the property than it is worth and your mortgage company accepts an offer for the house that is less than what you owe. Its “worth” is basically what other homes in your neighborhood have sold for in the last 3-6 months. “Worth” is not what you paid for the home 5 years ago or the new toilet you installed. Homes are seriously flying off the shelves and with a short sale professional working with you and your lender, you can be out of there in 2 or 3 months.
If you are spiritual like me, this may be God or the Universe’s way of pushing you to the next phase or level of your life. I’ve been there, I am there, and alot of us real estate people understand far more than you think we do. Stop fighting it and move past the dead end. There is life after this, most likely a better life where you can regroup and start anew. There are some beautiful rentals, why not move into one for a cheaper payment while you save your money? The rental property you move into will most likely be a better home than the one you have been fighting to keep. While you are saving money, contact a lender who will work with you to fix your credit and get you back into home ownership in the next few months to 2 years, depending on how far you are behind. With a foreclosure or bankruptcy, you are looking at 3 to 7 years before your next home ownership opportunity.
Last thought. Our office also works with Bank Owned Properties. One of my jobs is to offer the bank’s Cash For Keys Program to former owners – now called “tenants” because the house has been returned back to the bank. The bank wants them out so they can sell the property. Sometimes the cash for keys is not accepted because the “tenant” chooses to spend more money on attorney fees to fight the bank. Sigh. They are only prolonging eviction. Before the foreclosure, the bank may have offered them relocation funds had they tried to sell the home. If you are an investor and have “renters” in the home, please sell the house to another landlord so these people are not forced to move. So far the “tenants” who were assigned to me have accepted the cash for keys and moved on. Seeing them weary from fighting to keep the house, I lay awake at night thinking about the one thing that they always tell me…
“I spent thousands of dollars to try to keep this house, just to lose it in the end. I could have just paid my mortgage or could have sold it and moved in a new home by now.”
Please do not let these words come from your mouth.
Adrien Bryant, Real Estate Agent and Lifestyle Consultant, ABR, e-PRO, SRS; Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate (CA) Inc., http://www.APREUS.com; Email: Adrien.Bryant@APREUS.com; Office: 909-212-4021 DRE#01921542
Image courtesy of http://lasvegasshortsaleauthority.com
The opinions in this blog are my own personal opinions and do not reflect the opinions of Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate (CA), Inc.