Help from Housing Counselors
You don't need to face your problems alone. Reputable help is free to you through nonprofit housing counseling agencies or through your lender. Be careful to avoid foreclosure prevention scams that charge large fees without helping and can even cause you to loose your home .
Avoid Fraud: Tips to Keep in Mind
- Do not pay up front for information or assistance.
- Beware of anyone who says they can save your home and asks you to sign over the deed.
- Never make payments to anyone other than your mortgage company without their specific approval.
- Also avoid unscrupulous "credit repair" or "credit reduction" companies that charge large fees and promise to improve your credit score or reduce your balance. Work with a reputable counselor or your credit union to protect your money and your credit.
Information You Will Need
Before you contact your housing counselor, gather the following documents and information. This will help to make the process easy and increase your chances for a successful loan resolution.
- Make a complete list of income and expenses (including all household bills such as food, car insurance, utilities, clothing & personal care, school expenses).
- Bring monthly bills to the meeting.
- Click here for easy tips on setting up a budget.
- Your mortgage document
- Your mortgage payment coupon showing account number, etc.
- Any communications from the mortgage company and/or its attorneys
Employment and Tax Information
- Pay stubs for the last two pay periods (for all adult household members)
- W2s for the most recent year for which taxes were paid (for all adult household members)
- Signed tax returns for the most recent year for which taxes were paid (for all adult household members)
- Include statements from your financial institution (bank or credit union) for the last two months (for all adult household members).
In your own words, write a hardship letter to the Loss Mitigation Department of the lender/servicer. This letter is an important communication, and you should take time to write it carefully to communicate your commitment to staying in the house and meeting your obligations if the lender will work with you. If your letter needs any revisions, the counselor can help you finalize it at your counseling session. Include the following information in your hardship letter:
- The loan number and property address
- Explanation of the hardship and whether it has been resolved or is on-going
- If it has been resolved, how has it been resolved
- If it is on-going such as loss of a job, indicate the kind of work you are looking for and when you think you will be fully employed again
- State what you are requesting from the lender
- Your intent – State that you want to keep the property. (If the property has been in your family for some time, be sure to state that, and indicate that you don’t want to lose your home.)
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