By Rich Cosgrove, President Stark County Association of REALTORS®
The impact of this year and this pandemic has been unexpected, swift, and scary for so many hardworking Americans that have been left wondering how to keep their homes – the biggest investment of their lives.
If you are a homeowner who is still struggling or unable to meet your loan obligation, work with housing experts and your lender to find a solution now. Do not wait until you fall behind to seek help and do not just stop making payments without speaking to your lender. Acting quickly may help you keep your home and the money you have already invested into it.
There are many terms out there regarding how to handle your loan. Let me try to help break them down.
Forbearance. Lenders may let you make a partial payment or skip payments. You will have to repay any missed or reduced payments in the future. Forbearance does not erase what you owe.
Reinstatement. Reinstatement refers to making a payment that covers all your late payments, usually at the end of a forbearance period.
Repayment Plan. If you cannot afford reinstatement, but can start making payments to catch up, the lender may let you pay an additional amount each month until you are caught up.
Loan Modification. Your lender may agree to amend your mortgage and offer several options such as adding the missed payments back into the loan amount, giving more years to pay off the loan, switching up the type of mortgage, etc.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website has a list of HUD-approved counseling organizations by state who are in the business of helping borrowers like you. Use the list as a starting point to find a counselor in your area. www.hud.gov/counseling
Whatever you do, please watch out for scams unfavorable loan terms. If it sounds too easy, has large future costs, are no down payment loans, has barriers to refinance or unethical document management; then your best bet is to walk away before you get started. Advertisement such as “Cash for Houses/Any Situation” or “We Buy Houses for Cash” are examples of this. They cannot rescue you from imminent foreclosure.
Realtors® can help! Realtors® are in the business of helping people become homeowners and want to do everything they can to make sure you can afford to stay in your home.
The Stark County Association of REALTORS® welcome you to visit our website at www.starkrealtors.com for a complete listing of REALTORS® and Affiliate members who are sure to meet your professional needs. The Stark County Association of REALTOR® members are honored to service the Stark & Carroll County Communities.
If you have any questions or comments on this article, please contact me by email at email@example.com.
The voice of real estate in Stark and Carroll counties.