Getting help with house payments
As a follow up to the Sub-Prime lending story in the August 22 issue of The Morgan Messenger, Thomas Rokisky, president of CNB, and Denise Bergen, vice president of BB&T, were asked what advice they have for borrowers who are in danger of missing mortgage payments or have already fallen behind.
Both said the first and most important step is to talk to the lender. Banks and mortgage companies really don't want to foreclose on your property and will work with you to help you find a solution.
In certain circumstances, banks may defer payment for a month to let a borrower catch up from a temporary unexpected financial problem.
If the problem is more permanent, borrowers should consider refinancing if possible. The ability to refinance often depends on current interest rates compared to the interest rate on the original loan and the amount of equity the borrower has built up on the property.
In some cases, going from a 30-year loan to a 40-year loan may reduce monthly payments. Some banks offer other alternative financing for qualified borrowers.
Look for ways to raise cash, such as taking a second job.
Beware of scam artists who prey on borrowers in financial distress.
Seek financial counseling. Find housing counselors approved by the Housing and Urban Development Department or call the 24-hour hot line offered by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation at (888) 999-HOPE.
As a last resort, the house can be sold. A foreclosure will damage your credit record and hurt your chances of buying a home in the future.