Most Americans have probably been there. That one month when several unexpected events have basically forced them to choose whether or not to skip a mortgage payment. This is a lousy solution.
Unless the cash crunch has come on suddenly (or even if it has), one of the first things mortgage holders should do is call their lender and explain what has happened.
A Florida attorney cited at Zillow noted:
The first and most important thing I always tell clients concerning delinquent mortgage payments is to contact their lender/servicer, in writing, to advise them of the hardship and inability to make payments.
This can be difficult to do because it is an admission that somehow you’ve screwed things up, but it is a far better choice over the long haul than simply skipping that mortgage payment.
Zillow points out several other things you can do to mitigate the damage inherent in missing a mortgage payment:
Don’t wait too long
The longer you wait to make your financial struggle known and the harder you attempt to work the system, the less favorably your personal financial crisis is likely to work out.
For homeowners who have already missed a mortgage payment, Dunivan recommends making the most of rules restricting dual tracking, by seeking loan assistance as soon as possible.
Failure to act can lead lenders to believe that you don’t care about your financial obligations.
Zillow has more details and advice at the company’s website.