Mortgage Foreclosure Help - Steps to Save Your Home

by Patsy in Lancaster, Ohio

Ask Kate for mortgage foreclosure help: Fear of losing your home can be paralyzing. But without taking action, the threat of foreclosure only grows closer. If you are one of many struggling borrowers weighed down by an unaffordable house payment, here are 6 steps to save your home and get your life back on track.


6 Steps to Save Your Home from Mortgage Foreclosure

  1. Get in touch with your lender and ask for help making your mortgage affordable. I know this sounds scary if you are behind on your payments. But there is more assistance available than in the past and lenders, to some degree, have been forced to be more cooperative.

  2. Take advantage of Making Home Affordable (MHA), the White House strategy that addresses the mortgage crisis, by asking about these two home loan programs...

  3. Mortgage Foreclosure Help - Steps to Save Your Home

  4. If your lender does not participate in MHA, ask for their in-house loan modification plan. Read more about In-House Mortgage Loan Modifications.

  5. Call the 888-995-HOPE (4673) for free foreclosure assistance. Read more about the HOPE hotline here and how to prepare before you place your call.

  6. Get in touch with local homeowner support organizations by typing foreclosure help, mortgage help, or foreclosure prevention in your search bar leading with the name of your city. For example, phoenix foreclosure help. Many times there is no cost for their assistance but be sure to ask upfront.

  7. Lastly, and I understand this can be uncomfortable to consider, but familiarize yourself with foreclosure alternatives. Of course, I'm not suggesting the foreclosure alternatives will be necessary but the more you know now, the more empowered you will be to save your home...

I'll end this section by acknowledging that there are varying opinions on the amount of help that should be allocated to struggling homeowners. To this end, I answered Sherri's question at Is HAFA Relocation Assistance Program Irresponsible.

Now for Patsy's question about loan forbearance...

Kate, Any loan forbearance secrets?

By Patsy in Lancaster, Ohio
Loan forbearance secrets


I am in default 2 months now. Because of a vehicular accident, I lost my husband, lost my career, I'm disabled and in fear of losing my home.

After my disability benefits (not Social Security) take my health insurance and taxes, I only have $1200 left.

My mortgage is $1000 and I have other bills to pay. I don't want to lose my home, I am over 50 and owe $100,000 on my home. Because of my disabilities, I cannot be employed.

My lender seems to think they cannot do anything to help me. I know I'm not entitled but working 30 years and my husband as well just doesn't seem right.

I am eligible for survivors support from Social Security, however they say I am over a few hundred on monthly eligibility for survivor benefits. I am receiving food stamps thank goodness. Thank you.

***zz-portrait-left.shtml*** Ask Kate answers: Any loan forbearance secrets?

Hi Patsy,

I appreciate that you mention you understand this is not a matter of entitlement. That's correct. But there is help available for struggling homeowners and hopefully I can get you in touch with it.

First off, call back your lender and specifically ask for help modifying your mortgage terms to lower the monthly payment.

Ask if you qualify for 1) the Principal Reduction Alternative (PRA) program which increases affordability and 2) the Home Affordable Unemployment (UP) program. (See Above)

If you do not feel you are gaining traction, try calling a free HUD-approved housing counselor at the Homeowner's HOPE Hotline (888-995-4673) sponsored by Making Home Affordable and tell them you need help working with your lender. Ask them also for details about the two programs, UP and PRA that I discussed above.

Fairfield Metropolitan Housing Authority

I also recommend getting in touch today with the Fairfield Metropolitan Housing Authority, a local resource for you. Call them at 740-653-6618. They are located at 315 N Columbus St, Lancaster, Ohio 43130.

They counsel struggling homeowners who have missed, or are close to missing, their mortgage payments. They also specialize in financial, budgeting, and credit repair workshops.

It may be that you need an attorney to help you negotiate through the twists and turns with Social Security. Ask Fairfield Metropolitan Housing Authority if they could refer you to an attorney who offers pro bono services.

Now return to the top of this page for my 6 steps to save your home from mortgage foreclosure. You'll also find a wealth of information at Ask Kate Answers Struggling Homeowners.

Good luck and very best wishes,



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Can I Move My HAMP Program
by: D Ferguson in California City, CA

Kate, I may have to move to another state this coming year to help take care of illness in the family.

Can I transfer my HAMP program to the other state?

Is there a program to join to be able to obtain a home there? Help please.

Hi D., Kate here

The HAMP modification was applied to the terms of your existing mortgage which liens your home. So it does not transfer to another property when you move.

Are you renting out the house in your absence? Hopefully the modified terms will apply if you are not living there. Please read your paperwork to know what to expect.

A program I'd suggest looking into for buying a new home would be FHA financing. It is more forgiving to less-than-perfect credit compared to conventional mortgage loans. Read the benefits of FHA financing here.

One more thing! Go here for tips to finding FHA lenders.

Best wishes, Kate

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