As soon as we start to approach adulthood, we start to think about our future. For most of us one of the most important things in this is being a home owner. Of course for a majority of people simply handing over a wad of cash and buying a house is out of the question, which is why we need to rely on mortgages to get us to where we need to be. If you don’t pay your mortgage you could become the victim of foreclosure; where the financial company that lent you the money in the first place claim the house back.
Losing Your Home
No one wants to think about becoming a victim of foreclosure but for lots of homeowners it becomes a reality. Lose of job, ill health, bereavement -there are many reasons why your financial circumstances could change and your home could be at risk. If you find yourself in a situation like this then it is important to explore your options and seek advice. There are some options that could give you a little breathing space to get your finances back on track.
The good news is that there are federal government schemes that can help with this. They are designed to help people who are struggling stay in their home due to financial difficulties. Whether you’ve made some payments or you’re very far behind in repayments there is more than likely some government help out there. Make sure you seek this sooner rather than later, otherwise you could risk it being too late.
What Help is Out There?
One of the first things to do is sit down, take a breath and don’t panic. It can be a scary time being on the verge of losing your home but it’s important to have a positive and open mind. There are ways out of this, you just need to research and work out what you’re going to do.
There are several schemes out there which can help you change the amount of your mortgage payments. These allow you to lower the amount you pay, or enter into refinance packages to ease your financial difficulties. These work differently so it is important to do some research and see what could suit you best. Some of the best schemes out there to help with modifying your payment amounts include The Making Home Affordable Program (MHAP), The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).
The Home Affordable Foreclosure Program (HAFA) can help if you reach the point where you have to sell your home due to foreclosure. It means that you will not be held responsible for the amount left over on the mortgage when the house sells. You will also be given $3,000 to help you relocate once it has gone through. Once the home is sold the mortgage company must not hold you responsible for any debt against the home.
If you have already fallen behind and defaulted on payments then make sure that you look into the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) program.
If you are really struggling financially then make sure you look up the Fannie Mae’s HomePath Program; which is designed to allow people to buy Fannie Mae-owned homes with more favourable terms than a traditional home buying loan.
This works in two ways – Firstly you could look into applying for a HomePath Mortgage. This allows you to buy homes that are ready to move into, by buying a foreclosed property. Secondly you could look into a The HomePath Renovation Mortgage, which as the name suggests allows you to buy a home that is in need of work and repair at a lower cost.
I Don’t Own a A Home Yet
If you’re thinking about signing up for a mortgage and owning your own home then you must make sure that you do research first and know what you’re getting into. It’s a big financial decision and one that you must make sure you’re ready for. If you’d like a mortgage but aren’t sure about being able to afford it, look into Freddie Mac’s Targeted Affordable Housing (TAH) Program. This scheme allows housing agencies to give low-rate mortgages to people buying their first home
Sometimes you’ll find that your finances hit a blip, but you know it’s going to be temporary; don’t worry there is help out there for you too! For example if you have lost your job then the Home Affordable Unemployment Program (UP) could allow you to freeze your payments for 12 months whilst you get yourself back on track.
You could also seek help from The Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (EHLP) who can help when you have a loss of income due to unemployment, medical emergency etc.
When you’re in financial dire straits it can be a lot to read everything and take it all in. The important thing is to take your time and not panic. Firstly make sure you start looking into help and support as soon as possible – some schemes require you to apply for help in the early stages.
Secondly use the internet to do your research and see what help is available out there. Don’t be afraid to speak to your mortgage company about the help that they offer – after all, they’re not going to know if you’re struggling unless you tell them.
No one wants you to lose your house, so seek the help that is out there and you can be sure that government programs will do what they can to help you save your house.