What to Do If You Get Behind on Your Mortgage Payments

Most mortgage lenders organize their mortgages so the payments are due on the first of each month. Mortgage lenders typically do not asses late penalties until the payment is 15 days late. Lenders will not report a late pay to the credit bureaus until the payment is a full 30 days late.


Homeowners fall behind on their mortgage payments for many reasons, and not merely because they’re irresponsible. Job layoff, sickness, injury and divorce may all be reasons that a homeowner registers a mortgage payment through no fault of their own. Whatever the reason, communication is vital.


The mortgage company will attempt to contact you if a payment is missed. Normally phone calls and mailed letters inform you of the missing payment. Avoiding these will work for just so long. Finally the creditor will need to take different actions. Avoiding the lender is only going to cause more issues, such as foreclosure. Communicate with your creditor as soon as possible if a payment will be late.


Get in touch with a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved housing counseling agency. These nonprofit agencies will offer free housing counseling for homeowners that are behind on their mortgages. They’ll help you find your options, and provide you suggestions about what to do next. Contact HUD at 888-995-4673 to find a counselor in your area.


HUD along with your creditor have options to help you get back on the right track. Perhaps a repayment plan for the missed payments could be ordered, if it was a one-time issue. If the house payment is no longer affordable the creditor can decide to temporarily lower or suspend the mortgage payment. Refinancing and loan modification provide more-permanent kinds of relief when required. These will permanently alter the quantity and/or speed of the mortgage loan. Work with your lender and home counselor to find the solution that fits your situation best.


Carefully monitor your finances when the loan is current again. If a payment will be late, even for just a couple weeks, contact your lender immediately. If your monthly payment has been lowered permanently, create a savings plan in case a future crisis arises.

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