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Ask Dave

Can We Keep Our House?

Jessica and her husband are behind on their mortgage payment and wonder if they can keep their house.

QUESTION: Jessica and her husband are four months behind on their FHA mortgage because of a loss of income.  They have about $12,000 in other debt and their house payment is about $800 a month.  Can they keep the house?

ANSWER: You should be able to keep the house.  In your state they will not foreclose on your house until you’re late by six or seven months.  Sit down and do a budget, proving to yourself that you can pay back what you owe on a payment schedule.  This is called forbearance. 

After you’ve done your budget, call the bank and tell them you want to work out forbearance.  Tell them you can’t pay everything back in a lump sum, but that you can make two payments a month.  Then, get on a budget and in four months you could be current. 

Remember: the bank will not take partial payments without forbearance.  You can’t just send them a check – you have to work out this payment plan.