According to a recent survey by Synergistics Research, lenders should make greater efforts to educate consumers about mortgage products and the application process.
Their survey of over 1,000 individuals indicated that only 33% of consumers understood the overall qualification process “very well,” and only 40% understood whether the interest rate on their mortgage was fixed or adjustable, among other startling finds. For the housing market to move forward, and to help consumers avoid foreclosure crises that are bad for everyone, better education and communication will be necessary.
“An outcome of the mortgage crisis is the need for providers to more fully assess customer suitability for and understanding of the loan they are obtaining,” explains Genie Driskoll, of Synergistics. If you are thinking of visiting a mortgage help center because you have questions regarding your mortgage, and even about foreclosure, you are not alone. About 4 million people seek mortgage modifications each year, and there are many reasons people may have trouble making their payments.
Is My Home in Foreclosure?
This is a more common question than you might think, likely because people missing payments have little experience with the foreclosure process. After you miss mortgage payments, you will usually have about 90 days before the foreclosure process begins. Keep in mind that doing partial payments will not extend this deadline. After this point, the lender will file a “Notice of Default” with your county’s records, and a letter announcing the foreclosure will arrive in your mailbox. If you are not in foreclosure, but are nearing that point, you absolutely should pick up the phone and contact your lender to see if something can be worked out.
Can You Save Your Home From Foreclosure?
Hopefully yes, though possibly no. The further along the process is, the harder it is to halt. Go to a mortgage help center and see how they can assist you in contacting creditors and understanding your finances. They can also direct you to potential government aids, such as the Making Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) which is a government loan modification available for some homeowners.
Avoid Scams During This Process
If you’ve ever heard the adage “bad things come in threes,” it’s worth noting that bad things often happen to vulnerable people because they have more difficulty evaluating the trustworthiness of offers made to them. The Federal Trade Commission warns consumers that there are many “foreclosure prevention specialists” who say they can take care of paperwork to prevent your foreclosure. Often, all they do is delay you from seeking real, qualified home foreclosure help.
Are you going to look for help from a mortgage help center? Let us know in the comments.