Mortgage Adjustments – Are You Having Trouble Making Your House Payment?
The federal government has issued incentives for mortgage holders to work with those homeowners who may be behind on their mortgage, to renegotiate. The renegotiating may involve reduction of principal, adjusted payment amounts, and delayed interest.
The idea behind the program was to slow the free-fall in real-estate values that has occurred because so many homes are being foreclosed upon- because of job loss, as well as increases in monthly mortgage payments that occur when adjustable rate mortgages adjust. Thus making the payment unaffordable for some.
The problem the lenders are running into with this situation is each mortgage/homeowner’s situation must be studied-as they have unique income, home appraisal value, and overall debt situations There is no one size fits all, easy mechanism to handle this sort of problem. The re-assessment/adjustment process has to be done by the mortgage holder, after being asked by the homeowner for assistance.
Because of the labor intensity required to study each mortgage situation individually, this report shows that the mortgage adjustment departments of many of the nations biggest banks, such as Bank of America, and Wells Fargo, are actually hiring a lot of new people to handle the volume. This represents one of the few areas of growth in employment in the country right now.
Another issue with this situation is it frequently just delays the inevitable. If you have lost your job, it may not matter if your mortgage payment gets adjusted to 25% less than it was-” you can’t get blood from a turnip” as we say here in the South.
For those of you who currently have no problem making your mortgage payment, why should you care? Well mainly as a cautionary tale. Don’t let your eyes fool your stomach,( to continue with the southern sayings)-and buy a bigger house than you can afford. Many experts suggest keeping your mortgage at less than 25% of your salary. Buy the house with a large down payment (20% is a good number for most) that gives you equity in case you do have to sell sooner than you intend and the home value falls during your early homeownership years.
Here is the HUD website that gives accurate information about the program The adjustments are made by your lender, who are getting subsidies and encouragement from the federal government to help as many homeowners as possible stay in their homes, and avoid foreclosure.
If you are having trouble paying your mortgage, then make sure you call your mortgage holder sooner rather than later, before the money runs out in these federal programs that are helping the banks with these mortgage adjustments.
Develop that emergency fund I keep posting about because it is so important to give you a cushion when times are tough. Cut out non-essential expenses, keeping spending to a bare minimum until you decide if you can stay in your home or have to sell or renegotiate. So, if you need help, contact your lender as soon as possible. Study your own financial situation to see if you can raise income or lower expenses. Hopefully you will still be able to continue to say Home Sweet Home!