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What to Do When You Start Missing Mortgage Payments

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The path to foreclosure is different for everyone, but it always begins the same way — missing the first payment. However, not every missed mortgage payment guarantees that foreclosure is imminent. If handled properly, one late bill can remain just that. A Miami foreclosure defense attorney can provide sound advice on how to best proceed in this situation, but a basic understanding of what can happen if one misses a payment (or several payments) is instrumental in fending off foreclosure.

Lender Actions That Follow a Missed Payment

Immediately following a late payment, a debtor will enter what is commonly referred to as the grace period. During this time, typically 15 days for most lenders, a homeowner can pay his debt without suffering any consequences. However, if the mortgager is unable to do so, it is likely that he will receive a formal notice the following day, at which point late fees will be charged.

When the situation becomes more consequential is at the 30-day mark. At this point, if the debtor is still late on payment, the mortgage is determined to be in default. Thus, the lender is likely to file a report with the credit bureaus. How significant the impact of this will be is dependent on every individual’s unique circumstances, but it is possible that one’s credit score could drop up to 100 points. The mortgager will also be served with a demand letter prior to being two months late, which will detail the threat of foreclosure.

Following the demand letter comes another formal communication, in which the defaulter is placed on notice that foreclosure is impending without payment. One can expect his credit score to continue to drop as the process progresses – particularly as formal actions begin to be introduced. The timeline for the foreclosure process is variable, but the entire scenario is completely avoidable.

How to Avoid Foreclosure

The first step when one begins to fall behind on mortgage payments should always be to enlist the expertise of a Miami foreclosure defense attorney. With the help of a professional who is knowledgeable about debtor rights (and more importantly, how to protect those rights), the mortgager can best determine the right course of action for his situation. This might involve defending the foreclosure if violations occurred, securing a loan modification, or even selling one’s home.

If you have questions about foreclosure, we are always just a call away to offer the guidance you need. Get in touch with us today to get back on track.

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