When the average American homeowner gets behind on mortgage payments, it is often times very hard to get caught up again.  Bills start to snowball and eventually you find yourself under a mountain of debt.    The housing crisis has reached into most regions and neighborhoods throughout the country.  It is hard to say if the saturation in housing is the fault of easy lending practices or borrowers who took on more debt than what was manageable.  At this point many homeowners are dealing with the consequences as banks and mortgage companies continue to have to file foreclosure and serve sheriff sale notices.

©Vanderbolt-0 - flickr

©Vanderbolt-0 – flickr

If you are a homeowner that is behind on payments IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO STAY IN YOUR PROPERTY.   The first thing to do is contact your mortgage lender and see if there is any workout or loan modification that is possible.  For you to get back on track you have to make sure that your monthly mortgage payments are AFFORDABLE.  You should not have to stretch to make your monthly payments – you might consider refinancing if possible, but not if the payment is still biting off more than you can chew.  If you are unable to refinance or get approved by your lender for a loan modification, you can always look to sell the property.  You have a couple options when it comes to selling your property.  You can list the property on the market through a Realtor, and most likely this will require paying a 5-6% brokerage commission.  Make sure you factor in this expense when calculating if you will have enough equity in the home to repay your lender and walk away free and clear.  If this option does not seem feasible, you can sell the property to one of the thousands of investors looking for attractive deals all across the market.  Always consult with an attorney if selling, and make sure you are being protected.  There are many people and groups out there trying to take advantage of the average homeowner, especially those who are not very familiar with how real estate transactions typically operate. 

You can also look into debt consolidation which can help by lumping all of your monthly payments into one sum.  There are service companies that can help walk you through how you can restructure your debt, or at least find a way to buy some time to recover.  Typically it takes about 12 months of on-time monthly mortgage payments to increase your credit score, so this is the minimum amount of time you should expect you will need if your credit has really taken a hit because of a foreclosure or a defaulted loan.

Contact a foreclosure specialist today – you can go online and find one of the many services, but just be careful, because not everyone has your best interest in mind!  When qualifying a potential service to help, make sure they have a proven track record and that you feel comfortable with whom you are working with.  There are hundreds of scams out there that will take your money and provide nothing in return.  You can get out of the financial situation you are in and can recover – it will take a commitment to a stricter budget to ensure you stay on the path to recovery.

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