Tough times can hit anyone. Whether it’s job loss, medical expenses, the economy, or overwhelming debt—if you’re finding that you can’t pay your mortgage and you’re worried about foreclosure, it’s time to seek housing counseling.
While foreclosure laws vary state by state, generally, mortgage companies will begin the foreclosure process about three to six months after you miss a payment. During this time, it’s imperative that you keep in touch with your lender. There are several alternatives to foreclosure, including loan modifications, forbearance, or a repayment agreement. Consulting a housing counselor can be highly beneficial. They can provide education, as well as a detailed plan and an overall solution.
How else can a housing counselor help?
• They can help you understand the foreclosure process in your state
• Give you advice and tactics on how to avoid foreclosure
• Help you understand your options for repayment and mortgage modification
• Provide coping support if you do lose your home
• Provide tools to avoid delinquency in the future
Even more importantly, your housing counselor can work with your mortgage servicer and advocate for you so that you can find the best available option and stay in your home. Counselors can also help you build a household budget that’s sustainable, as well as work with you to reduce your debt, start to build a savings, and boost your credit score.
Studies have shown that people who get housing counseling are less likely to default on their loan within the first two years. In addition, according to HUD, people who participate in housing counseling average $11,300 less in household debt. Housing counseling can also help if you are a first-time home buyer or are 62 years and older and looking to supplement your retirement income with a reverse mortgage.
Ultimately, housing counselors provide greater financial literacy and can help you obtain a mortgage, find access to affordable housing, and generally approach homeownership with a greater awareness of your responsibilities and with better tools to manage your finances.
Whether you’re worried about foreclosure or looking to buy your first home, credit counseling is a good idea. Looking to get started? We offer housing counseling and workshops to help you avoid foreclosure, buy your first home, or take out a reverse mortgage. Contact us today.