Let’s face it: the economy stinks. Unemployment is high and the fear of losing ones job is the number one factor keeping home buyers on the sideline. So what if you find yourself on the wrong end of a pink slip, out of work and the bills mounting? Here a few tips that should
1. It’s time to get real with your situation
When the shock of being let go wears off, it’s time for you to have a “get real” meeting with your spouse and family. Far too often, I have been called by sellers asking for assistance in short selling their home that had this conversation with themselves far too late. It’s important to analyze your situation with regards to outstanding and reoccurring debts, sources of income (how much and for how long), prospects for employment, etc. This isn’t a tough thing to do because for many of us, myself included, it’s easier to ignore the bills and the phone calls than to face reality. Unfortunately, this is the main reason why so many homes are in foreclosure.
I mentioned getting the family involved too because I believe that as a family, you need to support one another. Also, the last thing you ever want to have happen is to have your son or daughter greeting the sherrif when he’s serving foreclosure paperwork.
2. Call your bank
The good news is that you’re not alone. With so many out of work, almost every bank has program to assist you in making payments or delaying payments when you have fallen on hard times. The key is to notify the bank as soon as you are aware of your situation. Often times, you can save your credit by being proactive.
3. Seek help from a community credit counselor
In your community are non-profit agencies designed to help folks going through your exact situation. The banks can be like that relative or co-worker that you really don’t like to interact with because they have no understanding and no personality. These agencies can intercede on your behalf for free with the bank and may have information on local and state grants, foundations, etc that may be able to assist you as well. In the Charlotte area, contact Alliance Credit Counseling or United Family Services.
BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN NOT DEALING WITH EITHER AGENCY BECAUSE THERE ARE A NUMBER OF SCAM ARTISTS WHO’S GOAL IS TO RIP YOU OFF. If you are ever asked to pay any money up front, turn and walk away.
4. Call your mortgage servicer and good Realtor