Working with your lender

If you’re having difficulty making your mortgage payment, it’s important talk to your loan servicer or lender to work out a payment plan as soon as possible. While it’s best to call before you miss a payment, it’s important to call if you’re one or two months behind, too.

If you are not yet late on your payments, your loan servicer or lender may be able to assist you if you’re worried that you will not be able to make your payment.

Important: If you fall behind and do not work out a payment plan, your loan servicer or lender will start the foreclosure process and you may lose your home. The longer you wait to talk to your loan servicer or lender, the fewer choices you may have. Once a workout solution is fully in place and your lender is receiving the agreed-upon payments, it’s unlikely the lender will begin the foreclosure process. However, most loan servicers or lenders will not stop the foreclosure process once it has begun.

Before you call:

  • Open and read all mail from your lender or loan servicer. The phone number to call to reach your lender or loan servicer will be printed on your mortgage statement or on a letter from your lender.
  • Have your loan number available so your lender or loan servicer can look up your account. Your loan number also will be on your mortgage statement.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about why you have missed (or expect to miss) mortgage payments. You may be asked to provide this information in the form of a letter (often called a “hardship letter”). If you need assistance in writing a hardship letter, contact a housing counselor.
  • Be prepared with information on your monthly household income and expenses by completing a budget worksheet. Download a sample budget worksheet here Document Download Icon. Your loan servicer may do a financial assessment to find out what workout options are available to you. You may be asked to send documentation like pay stubs or income tax forms.
  • Be prepared with information on your savings. If you do not have money saved, be prepared to explain to your lender or loan servicer how and when you will be able to contribute money toward your loan workout.

When you call:

  • Tell the loan servicing representative about your situation and that you want to work with them to bring (or keep) your mortgage current. Answer all the lender’s questions honestly, and be prepared to fax or mail any financial documentation they request as soon as possible.
  • Ask what workout options are available to you. Get any proposed workout plan sent to you in writing before you agree to it. Make sure you can really afford a workout plan before you agree to it.
  • If you are already late on your payments (or if the loan servicer cannot help), ask to speak with someone in the “loss mitigation” department. This is the department that can talk to you about possible workout options. Get a phone number for the person you talk with in the loss mitigation department, so you can call that person back directly.
  • Write down the date and time of the call, who you talked to, and what the loan servicing representative told you.
  • If you have questions or want a second opinion, contact a HUD-approved housing counselor for free advice.

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