Foreclosure is a legal process that takes place when a homeowner fails to make their agreed-upon mortgage loan payments. Several steps can be taken prior to foreclosure to prevent families from losing their homes. To better understand foreclosure, read "Foreclosure Process."
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides comprehensive information about how to avoid foreclosure with special emphasis on alternative arrangements that you may be able to reach with your lender. Read their Guide to Avoiding Foreclosure.
What do I do when I can't pay my mortgage?
Foreclosure does not happen overnight. It is important to understand what to do if you are unable to make a mortgage payment. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau lays out the first steps to take if you cannot pay your mortgage and the options that may become available to homeowners during this time.
Call your mortgage servicer. Individuals should be able to find the contact information of their lender on their monthly mortgage loan statement or on the lender's website. If you are unsure who your lender is, contact a HUD-approved housing counselor for assistance. You should be prepared to explain to the lender why you are unable to make your mortgage payment, whether this problem is temporary or permanent as well as details about your income, expenses, and other assets.
Call a free or low-cost HUD-approved housing counselor through the Department of Housing and Urban Development or the Homeownership Preservation Foundation. an organization is dedicated to helping homeowners avoid foreclosure. A housing counselor can help homeowners make informed decisions.
Stabilizing Urban Neighborhoods (SUN)
BlueHub SUN prevents foreclosure-related vacancies before they occur. SUN helps homeowners with a stable income stay in their homes by acquiring foreclosed properties and reselling these homes to their existing occupants with mortgages they can afford. To qualify for SUN, a homeowner needs to be late on their mortgage or going through foreclosure or facing eviction due to foreclosure and have a stable income. Learn more about the BlubHub SUN program online or by calling 855-604-4663.
Mortgage Refinancing Options
- The Stay at Home Streamline Refinance Program offers mortgage refinancing for struggling homeowners with existing FSA-insured mortgages. Learn more about this program online or by contacting your lender.
- Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America offers mortgage modification. This program may be able to change the terms of the loan, lower the loan’s interest, and reduce principle. Free counseling is also available and can assist homeowners through the process. Learn more about this program online.
Mortgage Assistance for Military Personnel
Mortgage payment relief and protection from foreclosure are provided to active military personnel and reservists through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). To be eligible for this program you must have had mortgage commitments before enlisting or being called to active duty. Eligible service members should contact their lender, provide documentation that they have been called to active duty, and are eligible for relief under the SCRA. Contact your local JAG office for more information.
Emergency Financial Assistance
The Social Service for the Homeless program provides utility and mortgage assistance to households that are at risk of homelessness but are ineligible for welfare programs due to their income being too high. Find your area's hotline number.