As federal and state moratoriums cover the country, more and more Americans have fallen behind on their mortgage payments at levels not seen since the Great Recession. Fox News reported this news on March 2 and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has provided details on it. item earlier this month.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has calculated that in 2020, the number of homeowners who were at least three months behind their mortgage payments rose 250 percent to more than two million households and is now at a level not seen since the height of the Great Recession in 2010.

These houses It is estimated that they owe nearly $ 90 billion in deferred principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments. Unfortunately, those numbers may not give the full picture, because when the moratoria expire soon and lawsuits flood the courts, those numbers could be much higher.

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However, if you belong to one of these groups, there are ways to safeguard your home and avoid being left out if you act now. Here are my top four suggestions:

1. Call your lender: lenders make record deals

Lenders lose money because they are unable to foreclose homes during moratoriums.

Therefore, many lenders offer special items on their menu to entice borrowers to pay off their mortgage, including postponing loan payments to a later date or ending the loan, postponing or reducing mortgage payments. interest, lower fees and keep you from defaulting on the loan. ready by other creative means.

2. Sell your property and value it correctly

If you’ve already contacted your lender and payment plans and forbearance payments just aren’t in your budget, many markets across the country are breaking records; you can make a profit by selling your house.

The key is to find a broker who will care about you, your property, and most importantly, the selling price of your property.

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By setting a price for the sale, the property will not stay on the market longer than you can afford. It may even generate such interest that it triggers a bidding war, in which case several buyers could bid to purchase the property.

If this happens, it would likely increase the sale price.

3. Read all your messages every day

You can’t afford to miss your court date or an invitation from your lender to make a deal on your payments. All of your mail from your lender should not only be read, but should be answered immediately.

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Too many homes have been lost because the borrower missed a court appearance or failed to recall a lender when the lender offered lower payments.

4. Save your money

As someone who has represented lenders for 27 years, I find the second biggest enemy against mortgage payment besides unemployment is having a paycheck pay off other bills and expenses.

Paying off your mortgage is far more important than those much-needed renovations.

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I cannot stress enough that the moratorium does not mean the mortgage will never be due – these payments are only delayed temporarily.

Despite the gossip, even the United States Constitution prohibits the government from interfering in private contracts and therefore in the payment of mortgages. This will result in foreclosure of a house if payments are not made.

Adam Leitman Bailey is a real estate attorney and New York Times bestselling author. Bailey is based in New York City, where he represents several of the largest lenders in America.

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