March 29, 2021
Are you unable to make your mortgage payment? Did you get a delinquency notice in the mail? Are you unsure of what to do next? Good news: You can get free, personalized mortgage advice from counseling agencies certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
No matter what you’ve heard, your lender or loan servicer does not want your house. They want you to stay in your home and make your payments, and they want to help you find a solution. Call them as soon as you know you can’t make a payment.
Have your loan number on hand, along with your most recent income documents—including pay stubs and benefit statements from Social Security, disability, unemployment, etc. Are you self-employed? You’ll need your most recent tax return or a year-to-date profit/loss statement. Also, prepare a list of monthly household expenses, including debt payments. Be ready to explain your situation. They will work with you to identify possible solutions to help you avoid foreclosure. Respond quickly to their letters, emails, phone calls, and information requests. If they don’t hear from you, they may start legal action—which could lead to foreclosure. Finally, keep records of your calls and copies of every document you send them.
After you talk with your loan servicer, why not talk with a free, government-certified mortgage counselor? HUD sponsors counseling agencies from coast to coast. Their counselors are specially trained to review your situation, find options, and make a plan to get the help you need. They can provide unbiased advice about past-due mortgages, managing money, buying a home, renting, and more.
This HUD website displays a national map; click on your state to see a list of counselors state-wide. With the list on-screen, use the narrow your search function to find a specific type of counseling (such as mortgage delinquency or loss mitigation). You can also find counselors by city or ZIP code.
HUD has a foreclosure-specific website to help you find a certified Foreclosure Avoidance Counselor near you. These counselors are specially trained to help you understand the law, organize your finances, negotiate with your lender, and avoid foreclosure. They’re funded partly by HUD and NeighborWorks® America, and their services are free.
If you don’t have Internet access, call HUD toll-free, 24/7, at 800-569-4287 (TTY: 202-708-1455).
If you prefer counseling by phone, call the toll-free HOPE Hotline of the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) at 888-995-HOPE (4673). You can also visit their website, 995Hope. HPF is an alliance of loan servicers, investors, lenders, and HUD-approved counselors. Through their partnership with GreenPath Financial Wellness, they provide a wide range of free, phone-based financial counseling services.
Like when you talked with your loan servicer, have your financial records on hand before you meet with your counselor. You’ll need your: