If you are having difficulty making your mortgage payments, one of the most important things you can do is be proactive. Review the terms and conditions of your mortgage, learn about the foreclosure process for residents in your state and what may lead up to it, and find out more about the resources on a local, state and national level available to assist you in working with your lender and your finances.
|What is foreclosure?
In the contract you signed when your mortgage lender loaned you money to buy your house, you agreed that if you can’t repay the loan, the lender can foreclose to take ownership of the house.
If you do not pay your monthly mortgage payment, you are technically in default on your mortgage. State laws vary, but generally, a loan that is as little as 90 days delinquent can be considered in foreclosure.
Your lender may send you a notice indicating that they are starting foreclosure proceedings, but don't wait; take steps to prevent a foreclosure as soon as you realize you are having trouble paying the mortgage.
These links provide concise general information and advice.
Foreclosure Counseling Resources
If you are in foreclosure trouble or may be in the future, call or visit a homeowner or foreclosure counselor.
- Mortgage Help (www.CFPB.gov)
- Homeownership Preservation Foundation (www.995hope.org)
- HUD Counseling Services (www.hud.gov) or (800) 569-4287
- NeighborWorks America (www.neighborworks.org/) or (888) 995-HOPE (4673)
- Fannie Mae Counselor Search (www.fanniemae.com)
- Credit Counseling Agencies Approved Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 111 (Approved by Department of Justice for bankruptcy filers) (www.doj.gov)
- National Foundation for Credit Counseling (www.nfcc.org)
Loan Modification and Refinance Programs
- Struggling with Your Mortgage Payment?
Save Your Home - Mortgage Modification Programs are Available
- Making Home Affordable (www.makinghomeaffordable.gov)
Making Home Affordable is a program the Obama Administration has introduced to help stabilize the housing market and help Americans reduce their monthly mortgage payments to more affordable levels. Eligible participants may have the opportunity to either refinance or modify their residential mortgage loans. The Home Affordable Refinance Program gives up to 4 to 5 million homeowners with loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac an opportunity to refinance into more affordable monthly payments. The Home Affordable Modification Program commits $75 billion to keep up to 3 to 4 million Americans in their homes by preventing avoidable foreclosures. This website provides homeowners with detailed information about these programs along with self-assessment tools and calculators to empower borrowers with the resources they need to determine whether they might be eligible for a modification or a refinance under the Administration's program.
Foreclosure Rescue Scams
- Beware of Mortgage Rescue Scams [Spanish]
If It's Too Good to be True, it Probably Is
- Foreclosure Rescue Scams: Another Potential Stress for Homeowners (www.ftc.gov)
- Consumer Alert — Bankruptcy Mortgage Foreclosure Scams (www.doj.gov)
- Mortgage Payments Sending You Reeling? Here’s What to Do (www.ftc.gov)
- Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure (www.hud.gov)
- Avoiding Foreclosure (www.freddiemac.com)
- Falling Behind on Your Mortgage Payments? (www.fanniemae.com)
FDIC Consumer News Articles
- Having Difficulties Paying Your Mortgage? Pay Attention to These Tips (Fall 2010)
- Protect Yourself From Mortgage Scams (Fall 2013)
Other information you may find helpful can be found at the following website links.
Military Personnel Mortgage Payment Relief and Protection
Informational Websites, Tools, and Tips
- Credit & Loans (www.ftc.gov)
- Putting Your Home on the Loan Line is a Risky Business
- Consumer Resource Book on Adjustable Mortgage Rates (www.cfpb.gov)