If you are fighting to keep your financial head above water, it may be small comfort to know you are not alone. These unprecedented times have left many struggling without work, managing medical bills and wondering how to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.
Unfortunately, missing even a single mortgage payment may quickly send you spiraling toward foreclosure, with the mortgage lender threatening to reclaim and auction your home if you do not repay what you owe. Even if you are already receiving notices that foreclosure is on the horizon, there may be steps you can take to avoid this damaging legal and financial situation.
You are not out of options
Falling behind on your mortgage can create untold stress, damage your credit and leave you at the mercy of the lender, especially if the lender seems unwilling to offer assistance. However, the foreclosure process often takes a considerably long time, which may allow you to explore any of the following options:
- Seeking a forbearance, which is when the lender temporarily reduces or suspends your payments due to an emergency situation
- Persuading the lender to modify your loan, which means the lender restructures the loan to meet your financial means, such as extending the terms
- Requesting a short refinance, which is when the lender refinances part of your debt as a new loan and forgives the rest
- Obtaining a loan from another institution, likely with an exceedingly high interest rate, to repay the delinquent amount to the mortgage lender
- Seeking a reinstatement, which restores your mortgage to its original terms if you repay the delinquent amount with interest and penalties by a certain date
- Filing for bankruptcy, which may not save your home but often buys time during which you may be able to catch up on your mortgage payments
- Offering a deed in lieu of foreclosure, meaning you return the house to the lender in exchange for the forgiveness of the loan
- Selling the house, which may involve a short sale or a sale to an investor who will allow you to pay rent to continue living there
As you can see, there are no easy choices, and it may be likely that your lender will reject several of these ideas throughout the process, drawing you closer and closer to foreclosure. Before you exhaust all possibilities, you may find it useful to discuss your options with a skilled Pennsylvania attorney who has experience negotiating with creditors.