There are a number of different reasons people fall behind in making monthly mortgage payments. You may lose your job or have your hours reduced. You might become ill and be without disability insurance. Or perhaps your spouse, who’s responsible for paying the mortgage, becomes incapacitated.

If you’ve experienced one of these setbacks, it’s important for you to locate your mortgage lender’s phone number on your monthly statement and to call them right away.

When you contact them, you’ll want to explain the sudden change in circumstances that has landed you in financial distress. After listening to you describe what’s going on, they’ll likely ask you whether you anticipate that your inability to pay is permanent or temporary.

Depending on the response you provide, they may ask about assets and other expenses you may have, as well as your income. They’ll likely ask if the move is a military-mandated one also.

The point of asking you all of this is to better hone in on a program you may qualify for to avoid your home being lost in foreclosure. As part of this process, you’ll likely have to fill out a mortgage assistance application. After reviewing that, they’ll likely be prepared to let you know what options they’re prepared to offer you.

While your mortgage lender is processing that application, you may also benefit from contacting a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) counselor. In going over your financial situation with them, they’ll likely respond by recommending government programs for which you qualify that can help with any unpaid balances like credit cards and your mortgage loan.

If the options being offered by your mortgage lender or discussed by the HUD housing counselor aren’t workable for you, there may be other options you want to consider. Refinancing your mortgage may be a possibility. Working out a repayment plan, asking for a loan modification, or requesting forebearance may also be worthy of consideration.

You may also find that either short-selling your home or turning it back over to your lender through a process known as “deed in lieu of foreclosure” is the best option for you.

In learning more about the circumstances surrounding your financial problems, a Trenton real estate attorney can advise you of alternatives to foreclosure potentially available to you.

Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “If I can’t pay my mortgage loan, what are my options?,” accessed March 30, 2018