How to Avoid a Mortgage Default

Posted by Justin Havre. on Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 at 11:12am.

What to Know About Avoiding Mortgage DefaultThe market conditions have changed quite dramatically over the past twelve months. As a result, some homeowners may stumble upon financial hardships that make it difficult for them to pay their mortgage payments. Once your mortgage loan defaults, the chance of foreclosure increases.

If you or your spouse has lost employment and no longer make as much money, and you see meeting your mortgage payment obligations is going to be problematic, the first step is to take a deep breath. There are literally millions of people that face the same problem. You are not a bad person, so leave any feelings of guilt at the door. You do not have time for them. Instead, you need to focus on your options.

Try not to panic and instead act quickly to find solutions to the problem. It's a lot easier to avoid the issue than it is to stand up and fight back against the problem. Hiding under a rock when you can't make your payments is the worst thing that you can possibly do. The time to act is now and even though you may feel quite anxious about the situation, continue to act anyway.

Fortunately, there are ways to avoid default and keep your home, so read on for more information on how to avoid a mortgage default.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Get Moving On A Solution

Your first option is to find a way to make up the back payments and continue fighting to make your payment on time every month. Although not an attractive options, it is an option.

Explore options to decrease expenses and increase income, such as an additional job, selling possessions, and look to community resources for help. You may have to temporarily cut back on things like dining out, internet and cable. 

If you have a basement or spare room you may consider renting it out. The extra income could be up to 50% of your mortgage payment. True, there is some inconvenience, but it is a small price to pay for the extra income. If you are uncertain about taking in an extra lodger, remember, you are able to choose who lives with you. Make sure you meet them before they enter. If a spare room is not immediately available; be creative, see whether there is another room you could cheaply convert.

Work With Your Lender

The last thing that the bank wants to do is to foreclose on your home. This is a costly and long process for any lender and in the end the lenders ultimately end up losing money. As soon as you run into a problem, contact your lender. They'd rather work with you to help come up with a solution than chase after you to find out what the problem is. In some cases, a repayment plan can be worked out if you are behind on your mortgage or won't be able to pay it for a month or two.

Consider extending your mortgage term to reduce your monthly payments. The downside is that you will end up paying more in the long term. However, if it means you are able to continue meeting the minimum mortgage payments, it is worth doing.

Set up a repayment plan. If you are unable to pay your mortgage payment for one or more months, the lender may agree to a repayment plan. The mortgage lender adds additional money to each subsequent mortgage payment until the loan is up-to-date. 

Your lender may also suggest an Interest Only Mortgage. This will also reduce your monthly mortgage payments, often quite substantially. However, again the disadvantage is that, in the long term, you will need to find an alternative investment plan to pay off your mortgage capital—might be good short term option.

Refinance Your Mortgage

This is perhaps the easiest and most effective method. If you happen to be on your bank’s existing standard rate, the chances are you will be able to find a much better deal.

Talk to a Financial Advisor

If the situation is becoming overwhelming and you are really in danger of defaulting, you may need to consider speaking to a financial consultant or accountant. This will arm you with expertise and resources with which to approach planning your financial future and make the most of your current circumstances.

Resell and Downsize

This option is probably the most drastic and only to be undertaken when the others have failed. If you are able to sell your house, you can temporarily rent somewhere cheaper or buy a cheaper house in a different location. The money saved can be used to pay off your mortgage. This option is not easy, due to the costs involved in moving, but it might be worth doing in the long term.

Contact A Professional

When things get too overwhelming and you simply can't see a solution, get in touch with a financial advisor. Sometimes a professional can put things into perspective and help you find solutions that weren't at first obvious. It really can be very difficult to see an answer to a problem when you're sitting right in the middle of it.

If you can see that things are going to get bad in relation to meeting your mortgage payment obligations, take a deep breath then face up to the problem. Take action now, procrastination will not help you.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

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