If You Can't Pay Mortgage

Susan Kelly

Jan 06, 2023

Even if you cannot make your regular monthly mortgage payment, you may still be able to prevent foreclosure with the aid of mortgage relief alternatives such as forbearance and loan modification. Here are some measures you may take if you need to catch up on your mortgage payments, have missed one or more payments, or are facing the risk of missing one or more payments.

Contact Your Lender Right Away

If you are worried about your capacity to make payments, you should contact your lender immediately; there is no need to wait until you have skipped a payment or are certain you won't be able to make one. Generally, the sooner you seek help with your mortgage, the more options you'll have available. Though, grab the phone if you want counsel relevant to your mortgage. Generally, the sooner you seek help with your mortgage, the more options you'll have available. When you phone your lender, you should be prepared with the following information:

  • An estimate of the revenue you are making right now.
  • An estimate of your current costs.
  • Your most current mortgage statement.
  • Document the circumstances that led to the change in your condition sometimes referred to as a "hardship."


Your monthly mortgage payments can be reduced or skipped altogether if you qualify for mortgage forbearance. Based on the circumstances, you and your lender will collaborate to decide how long the forbearance will be in effect.

During the period of forbearance, interest will continue to accumulate regardless of whether you are paying a lesser amount or not making any payments.

As long as you continue to make your payments on schedule, certain lenders will agree not to record your forbearance to credit agencies. Even if you are granted forbearance, it will have a far less negative impact on your credit score than either missing a payment or going into foreclosure. You must make up the decreased or missed amount on a schedule authorized by the lender once the forbearance period has expired.

To qualify for a new mortgage (whether refinancing or a buy), lenders generally want proof that you have repaid the forbearance and made on-time payments for at least twelve months. This proof has to be retained for at least a year.

Loan Modification

Through the loan modification process, your lender and you may agree on new conditions for your current mortgage without having to refinance. This may include reducing the interest rate, increasing the loan term, switching the kind of loan, or adding any past-due payments to the total amount you currently owe.

The purpose of any of these modifications is to save you from losing your home to foreclosure and, in most instances, to make your regular payment more manageable financially. Your credit score might hurt due to a loan modification, but the damage would likely be less severe than foreclosure.

You can request a modification to your loan either before or after you enter into a forbearance agreement. If you want to apply for a loan modification before entering into a period of forbearance, you must prove that you are now experiencing severe financial difficulties.

In most cases, homeowners who are already behind on their mortgage payments or on the verge of defaulting on their loans are the only ones eligible for loan modifications. Your lender may first place you on a trial payment period, typically for three months, to establish whether or not you can afford the adjusted payments.

You'll need proof of your financial stability to qualify for a new loan after a modification, just as you would for a forbearance. If the modification were only temporary, you would need to provide evidence that you returned the postponed amount and continued to make payments on the mortgage according to the conditions in place before the modification. You could be required to prove 12 or even 24 months of on-time payments to qualify for permanent changes.

Advice to Help with Your Mortgage

Keep a record of everything: Called your lender? Take notes on the time, date, and people you talked with. Please record all communications, including a copy of everything you send to your lender, and file them away.

Maintain a vigilant watch on the deadlines: This is particularly important during the trial payment periods throughout the loan modification process.

Maintain your living arrangements. If the program that assists you with your mortgage requires that the property remain your primary residence, then moving out or renting out your house might endanger the aid you get.

Be aware of the material that needs to be updated: it is simple to discover websites that give the impression that defunct government mortgage help programs are still being offered, so take care not to trust such websites. Your lender should give you the most recent information on the options that are currently available to you.

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