Help, I’m Behind in My Mortgage Payments in Chicago!: 6 Ways To Catch Up

I’m Behind in My Mortgage Payments

When you fall behind on your mortgage payments on your Chicago home, it can feel like you’re drowning in debt. Even if you can make your monthly payment, catching up on a past-due balance can be overwhelming.

Discover effective strategies to prevent foreclosure in Chicago and potentially retain ownership of your home, even if you’re significantly delinquent on payments.

While many properties in Chicago have sprouted to foreclosure, there are various ways to avoid this outcome.

Understanding Mortgage Delinquency

Falling behind on your mortgage payments can be a stressful situation. But before diving into solutions, it’s crucial to understand what mortgage delinquency means and its potential consequences.

What is Mortgage Delinquency?

Mortgage delinquency occurs when you miss your monthly mortgage payment by a certain timeframe, typically 30 days. This means you haven’t made the full payment due on your loan.

The consequences of delinquency can escalate quickly. Here’s a breakdown of what you might face:

  • Late Fees: Lenders typically charge late fees for missed payments, adding to your financial burden.
  • Credit Score Impact: Late payments are reported to credit bureaus, negatively affecting your credit score and potentially hindering your ability to secure loans in the future.
  • Foreclosure Risk: If you remain delinquent for a prolonged period (usually 3-6 months), your lender may initiate foreclosure proceedings. This could lead to losing your home.

Early intervention is key. By understanding mortgage delinquency and taking preventive measures, you can safeguard your financial well-being and avoid the stress of foreclosure. Understanding the foreclosure process in Illinois can help you navigate this difficult situation

Common Causes of Falling Behind on Mortgage Payments

Falling behind in your mortgage payments is a stressful and daunting experience that many homeowners face. The reasons for this predicament can vary widely, each presenting unique challenges and requiring different strategies to overcome.

  • Loss of Income: Job loss, unexpected medical bills, or a reduction in work hours can significantly impact your ability to meet your monthly obligations.
  • Increased Expenses: Rising living costs, property taxes, or unforeseen home repairs can strain your budget and make it difficult to prioritize your mortgage payment.
  • Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs): If you have an ARM, your interest rate can adjust periodically, leading to higher monthly payments that you might not have budgeted for.
  • Overspending: While less common, excessive spending habits can leave you with insufficient funds to cover your mortgage payment.

Additionally, although less frequent, overspending and poor financial management can also leave you without sufficient funds to cover your mortgage. Understanding these factors is the first step toward finding solutions and regaining control of your financial situation.

6 Ways To Catch Up with Mortgage Payments

Life throws curveballs, and sometimes those curves can land you behind on your mortgage. Whether it’s a job loss, medical bills, or another unexpected expense, falling behind can feel overwhelming. But don’t panic! There are steps you can take to get back on your feet.

The key is to be proactive. By understanding your options, you can find a solution that works for you and your lender.

1. Forbearance

Mortgage forbearance can provide temporary relief by pausing or lowering your monthly payments for a set time. This keeps your account in good standing during that period.

Once back on track, you’ll repay the missed amounts. This can be done in a lump sum or spread out over installments added to your regular payment or tacked onto the end of your loan, potentially extending it by a year.

2. Reaffirm or Bankruptcy

Reaffirmation and bankruptcy can help homeowners catch up on mortgage payments.

  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows borrowers to include past-due mortgage payments in a repayment plan, spread over three to five years, preventing foreclosure.
  • Reaffirming a mortgage during bankruptcy means agreeing to continue paying the mortgage under new or existing terms, which can sometimes result in better payment conditions.

Both options help homeowners manage their debts and keep their homes. This is usually the tool of last resort. If you’re being crushed by lots of debt, bankruptcy can be a good way to negotiate with lots of lenders at once. It’s a lot of work, and it won’t help you avoid your mortgage. Different lenders will treat your circumstances in unique ways. You’d benefit from serious professional help – the best you can afford.

3. Making Home Affordable (MFA)

If your mortgage qualifies, you might be able to participate in Making Home Affordable (MHA). Loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac must be considered for MHA, while other lenders may choose to participate. With MHA, your payments, interest rates, or even the principal balance could be lowered. If you’re unemployed, you might get your payments temporarily suspended or reduced.

MHA is a government program, so expect significant paperwork. It’s not free money; you’ll need to put in the effort.

Additionally, check for state, county, city, or professional organization assistance programs. For instance, the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) helps homeowners who fall behind on mortgage payments or other housing expenses.

4. Negotiate with Your Bank

Lenders often offer assistance, such as reduced interest rates or temporary payment reductions, but you need to work hard to get it. They might prefer refinancing, but if you’re behind on payments, you may not qualify.

Negotiating with the bank requires persistence, patience, and politeness. Always ask for help without sounding desperate, explain your situation, provide supporting documents, and assure them you plan to stay in your home long-term.

For a temporary fix, banks might add missed payments to the loan balance. Remind them that helping you keeps them from losing money through foreclosure.

5. Repayment Plan

Setting up a repayment plan with your servicer is an option, especially if your financial situation has improved. While not the easiest route, it involves convincing your servicer that you can manage the additional monthly costs. A housing counselor can assist in communicating with your servicer and exploring your options. You can find a counselor in your area using the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s online lookup tool or by calling 800-569-4287.

6. Borrow Money from a Private Investor

If you’re behind on payments and need to sell quickly, we can assist you. In some cases, we might even help you stay in your home. We specialize in working with homeowners in Chicago to find solutions to foreclosure problems. Contact us to learn how we can help you.

Give us a call now at (312) 857-8572 or
fill out the form on this website to get started.

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