How to Save Your Home in Times of Trouble

How to Save Your Home in Times of Trouble

It sometimes happens – a layoff, a job loss, an extended illness or just too much debt.

You can manage only minimum payments on credit cards, and you’re having trouble coming up with the mortgage payments on your home.

You hope that everything will work out, so you don’t do anything except wait it out.

When you fall behind on mortgage payments, though, it’s time to get proactive and start communicating.

The first thing to do is talk to your mortgage professional, who can advise you of your options.

Lenders are willing to work with homeowners to help them keep their homes and default insurers, for those who have high-ratio mortgages, offer a variety of programs to help prevent foreclosures.

Start by taking a good look at your income and expenses and put together a budget. This will give you a good snapshot of where you are financially. There are organizations that offer credit counseling and can help with preparing a budget.

Then look at ways to boost your income – a second job, selling household items or renting a room.

Following are some steps you can take:

Talk to Your Lender: They truly want to help you because it’s costly for them to start any foreclosure proceedings. They may lower your payments for a time or add the missing payments to the end of the loan.

Refinance: If you still have equity in your home and your credit hasn’t been damaged yet, you can still refinance.

Know When to Let Go: It may be impossible to hold on to your home.
And sometimes it’s best to let it go, take what equity you can and start again. This is when you need the help of a real estate agent who can set a realistic selling price so your home will sell in a timely manner.

Guy Ward is a Mortgage Associate in Calgary, Alberta with TMG (The Mortgage Group Alberta).