This chapter explains ways to temporarily or even permanently reduce your mortgage payments if you are having trouble keeping up with your payments. The next chapter describes your rights when your home is actually in foreclosure. The last two chapters describe the bankruptcy option, which offers additional rights to save your home. Sometimes bankruptcy may be a better option because it lets you deal with all your debt problems at the same time.
Another option, not discussed in this book, is applying for special funds that nonprofits, a city, or state may offer to help those facing foreclosure. Contact a nonprofit housing counselor or other specialist to locate any such options, but be careful to avoid scammers that design their rip-offs to look like assistance offered by a nonprofit. Never sign away rights to your home in order to get help.
This chapter instead provides advice on getting help from your mortgage servicer for what is called “loss mitigation.” Your mortgage servicer is the company you send your mortgage payment to each month. Foreclosures are costly for mortgage lenders and they prefer to find an alternative by giving their servicers loss mitigation guidelines. A servicer must consider these guidelines before it can conduct a foreclosure sale.