Should We Miss a House Payment?

Updated on September 03, 2009
W.E. asks from Queen Creek, AZ
13 answers

You know how all of the so called "help" you hear about ... you can not get unless you are behind on your house payment or close to forclosure? I was wondering has any one ever missed their house payments on purpose and actually received help? Like getting their Loan amount restructured or having their monthly payment GREATLY reduced? We are on a modified payment but it is still too much. We have not been late we have managed to keep it up to date, but we're barely hangin on.

3 moms found this helpful

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J.K.

answers from Phoenix on

I'm so glad you asked that question. We're in an ARM and we want to get into a fixed rate. We're too upside down to refinance so we're trying to qualify for a loan modification. We're wondering what we're going to do if we are stuck in an ARM...

Good luck to you!

Jaimee

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M.G.

answers from Phoenix on

I deal with this question daily. The only way a bank will modify a loan is if you can PROVE a)you can not afford your current payment and b)you can make the new payment. To say it is difficult to make your current payment means you would not qualify. Banks are making more loan modifications now than they did 6 or even 3 months ago. With that said if you applied for a loan modification in the past and they said no you can ask again now and it is possible they will say yes now. Also big banks that have recieved bail-out money from the federal goverment are much easier to get a modification from than the smaller regional banks. Since you have had your loan modified already you should talk to the same bank representative you used and explain your hardship. He/she will be able to give you real advice specific to your bank. The most important thing I can tell you is to NEVER hire a 3rd party to help you modify your bills. You can do it yourself and 95% of those companies are scammers! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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K.V.

answers from Phoenix on

Like everyone else said, be careful. I know way to many people who, while waiting for help on their modification, went into foreclosure. We are current on our mortgage but are having the same difficulties as everyone else. I was told that to be modified under the "making homes affordable" we had to only owe 5% over the current market value of our home. Ya right with the market crash its a bit more than that. I say if your paymernt is that difficult you are better off talking to your bank about a short sale because I dont really see the help out there for the majority of people who need it.

1 mom found this helpful
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S.G.

answers from Albuquerque on

Hi W.,
I don't know a whole lot about the mortgage world but I would think missing a payment is never a good idea. I would contact a mortgage company (charter is great) and ask them.

Have you gone to makinghomeaffordable.gov? They have two options there, one you have to be behind in your payments, one you don't. If you are not behind your loan has to be owned my franny mae or freddie mac. You can call your mortgage company to find out who owns it.

If that doesn't work maybe you can try dealing wiht your mortgage company directly. In this case I would think it would be best if you were current.

I agree with the prvious poster, call a reputable company who can give you good solid honest advice.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.C.

answers from Phoenix on

I would not recommend doing this!!!! We tried this back in 2007 and ended up selling our house as a short sale 6 months later. The "help" is not there.

We missed one payment on our mortgage. They restructured it and added a payment to the end of our loan. Great. That got us by for one month. The next month rolls around. We didn't have the money again. They told me that if I couldn't pay it, then they would rather see my home go into foreclosure. Now I should remind you that this was BEFORE everyone else and their brother started losing their houses, but still. So, I made the payment on my first mortgage, but not my second. There were penalties and late payments, but we didn't care, we just couldn't pay it. We kept hoping for a better month, but that time never came. I had a daycare and I just kept taking more and more kids to help pay for the house. Eventually, the monthly amount due on the second, was way more than we could afford and they made us catch up on it in order to avoid foreclosure. To make a long story short, we were always playing catch up. We stopped paying on both loans, secured a rental and left our home. We ended up short selling it, which is proving to not be the best choice either.

If you can't afford your house, I would recommend purchasing another home that you can afford now, while you are still current on your mortgage. Then, walk away. I am not a professional, so please seek any legal or financial advice prior to making a decision. We just found out the hard way that we can't purchase a home now for another two years. We were told that with a short sale we could purchase a new home within a year. Not true. We are now stuck in a house that is way TOO small and we are having a hard time finding a rental that is affordable. Just my two cents, hope this helps. I wish I had someone to give me advice when I was going through this. Best wishes!

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B.M.

answers from Phoenix on

W.. Sorry to hear about your struggles with your home. It's all too common these days! I strongly urge you to NOT intentially miss a house payment in order to try to get the bank to modify your loan. Usually they won't even consider anything until you are 3 months behind, and then it is DEFINITEY not a promise that they will help you. If you have already had your loan modified and are still struggling with payments, that will not communicate good things about you and your financial capabilities to the bank and will probably make them more hesitant to help you. If you miss payments, the bank very well could take a hard line approach with you, asking for all or nothing, meaning pay all the bank payments in one lump or turn over the keys. Not a happy place to be. I would suggest talking to a financial planner to see if they can help your family work out a budget that might free up some of your income. Good luck to you. These are tough times for sure!

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N.S.

answers from Tucson on

First of all, congrats on making those payments. We are also in a hard position (paying 2 mortgages b/c one house would not sell) but we feel that it is the honest thing to do to pay it.
From what I've heard, you HAVE to miss a payment before they will even think about helping you. I also think you should consider a short sale. Just sell that house--it's already a source of frustration for you. And buy something you CAN afford. Rent right now is WAY cheap. So what if you have to rent a house for a couple of years? You can get very nice homes for a great price--maybe one in your same neighborhood.
If you do start calling your lender after your missed payment, you need to stay on top of them. Call everyday. Or every other day. BUG them. If you are polite about it, they will do nothing. You need to be on them and very assertive. This is what I've heard from several people.
Good luck to you. I know it's hard to make the decision to do this. Every week for us comes a question of "Can I buy the good ground coffee this week or the cheap stuff?" And stuff like that. Seriously pinching pennies. So hats off to you on managing to stay on top of your house.

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L.D.

answers from Phoenix on

First of all, watch out for any third parties that claim to "represent you" in dealing with your mortgage company for a lower rate. They are usually just scammers trying to take advantage of desperate home owners. They always want money up front and won't do a single thing for you that you couldn't have done for yourself.

As far as missing a payment, I can tell you that within the past year, two separate members of my family forclosed on their homes after filing bankruptcy. Both of them tried to work with the lender first before taking that step, but were completely ignored....until 6-9 months later when they'd already started the bankruptcy and had found a new place to live. Way too late for them to want to make a deal.

So will one missed payment help? Probably not. If you're willing to miss six or more, maybe. Because apparently these banks are waiting until they absolutely have NO other choice besides foreclosure before offering to work with the homeowner.

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P.B.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi W.,

I know exactly what you're asking and saying. I have family and friends and clients that are asking the same question. Most modifications are not modified enough to make a difference for most home owners. Once it's been modified they won't remodify it again. Most of the time people have to be delinquent for at least a month before a bank will even talk to you about it. Very few banks try to take care of their people before signs of any trouble. The reason short sales are always a first choice over forclosure is the time period that it stays on your credit. Please check out our website to better understand forclosures vs. short sales and call me if you have any further questions. http://www.site.pro3agents.com/ (if you can't click on the link, the site is www.pro3agents.com)
So to answer your question, people are missing their payments all the time in order to begin the modification process. However, like yourselves... some of the modifications are just not getting low enough. My sister just got her new modification and it's still not low enough so she's going to short sale her home. The short sale process takes so long it will buy her more time to stay in her home. NEVER try to modify with a third part or pay for help!

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C.S.

answers from Albuquerque on

Just be carful. It is my understanding your have to miss more than one, and be closer to forclosre. The times realy stink right now. Good luck to you and your family.

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B.C.

answers from Phoenix on

Obviously, I don't know if you should miss a payment or not, however, I'll tell you our story.

We decided to miss a payment. Then, we filled out all the hardship paperwork, etc. We were so stressed that it took us a while to get it all filled out and then send it in only to find that we needed to send in more stuff. IN the meantime, we missed yet another payment. The amount of calls from the bank is unbelievable. We've never been late before (on anything) so we had no idea about the calls! Anyway, our guy from loss-mitigation was very helpful. He told us NOT to go past 90 days as that would ruin our chances plus to come out of 90 days requires legal fees, late fees, interest and the 90 days of payments. No way, right? So he kindly pushed our paperwork through. I say, we received the miracle of a loan modification at 3% for 3 years. We had to make one full payment and then we'll have to make two more payments at the new rate (on time) before they send the final modification paperwork. Whew!

My husband thinks that because we were so close to the beginning of the forclosure process (90 days late is the beginning of the foreclosure process) they pushed us through the system and gave us our loan mod. I'm not so sure they wouldn't have done it anyway. Like one of the moms said, we proved we couldn't make the current payment, but that we could make some sort of payment.

I'll say a little prayer for you. I know the stress all too well.
B.

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M.B.

answers from Phoenix on

We have asked ourselves this same question. Frankly, we can afford to make the payment, but it sure makes things difficult on us financially.

We've had to ask ourselves if it makes financial sense to keep making payments on a house that we're way upside down in.

We've come up with a solution that keeps us in the house & rids us of our negative equity. It does involve an investor, so you have to qualify in order for the investor to take on the risk. So, in our plan, missing a payment is not the way to go. We're currently checking on the legality of it, as we are both honest people that would only pursue options that were both legal and made financial sense.

Send me a personal email if you would like to know the details and I can keep you posted on our experience. [email protected]____.com

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R.H.

answers from Phoenix on

I work for a mortgage guy who does loan modifications. To be eligible to modify your loan you need to be at least 30 days late. This will significantly lower your credit score and will make you ineligible for another home loan for quite a few years but the loan modifications that we have done have been very successful for the homeowner.

Noone can tell you whether to skip a payment or not but you could contact a lender about a modification and see how much it would help you out?

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