“You can prevent foreclosure” is the manta of most people who want to help troubled families. Yet, many people at risk of losing their homes do not seek help until it is too late. Why is this?
The Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Greater Atlanta attributes this reluctance to get help to fear or confusion, which leads to inaction at the very point when they still have time to get help. What are some of these common fears?
If I let the mortgage company know I am having trouble, they will foreclosure more quickly.
Wrong! Letting your mortgage company know that there is a problem is the first step to getting help. If the bank sees you are taking steps to catch up, they may be more willing to help you.
If my bank has already turned me down for a loan modification, there is no point in contacting a counseling agency.
Wrong! If you were turned down, here might have been a processing error or your lender might not have been willing to comply with the terms of the Making Home Affordable program. Your income might not have proved sufficient or your paperwork may not have been completed correctly. A counselor could check this out for you and find other alternatives.
Other people will judge me for seeking help.
Wrong. Well, some people will always judge, but in these times, many people need help. If you seek help when you need it, you may avoid foreclosure and serve as an example to others.
I can’t get help till I’m down to my last dime.
Wrong! If you have more resources, you have more options. It’s best to seek help as soon as you know you’re headed for trouble,
My situation is hopeless.
Many people facing foreclosure feel like this. Even if your home cannot be saved from foreclosure, a housing counselor can help you get your finances together so you can move on.
I will have to pay a large upfront fee.
Wrong! Some companies do charge fees, but many are scams. There are plenty of non-profit housing agencies out here who will help you at no charge.
Unfortunately, not all homes can be saved. However, early contact with a housing counselor could help you evaluate your situation. Sometimes, moving on can be the best choice, but even that should not be done out of fear.
Need an area housing counselor? Looking for a stress free alternative? The DC-area HUD-approved counselors can help you.