What to Do When You Can't
Make Your House Payment

In the event that you lose your job, experience a catastrophic financial event, or find your budget chronically overextended, it is in your best interest to face your economic hardship and address it immediately. The earlier you take steps to address the financial issues you are experiencing, the more likely you will recover from them. The way to prevent foreclosure is to strategize how to reduce your expenses and make your dollars stretch while you recover from financial hardship. Here are some tips:

  1. Contact St. Clair County MSU Extension (810) 989-6935 as soon as you experience financial hardship to make an appointment to review your situation, strategize your budget, and develop a recovery plan.
    1. Cut out unnecessary expenses.
    2. Identify alternative sources of income.
    3. Identify community resources that can help stretch your dollars.
  2. Seek support from community agencies that can help you look for work and provide supportive counseling services.
  3. Contact your lending institution and let them know you are experiencing financial difficulty and are seeking help to over come it. If you miss a house payment or are late, be sure to notify them immediately. If you become delinquent on your mortgage payment, do not avoid phone calls or letters from your mortgage company.
  4. Although you may wish to draw equity from or refinance your home, this option could get you into further trouble. Furthermore, you may be vulnerable to predatory lending practices if you are desperate and your credit is bad. Such options should only be explored with reputable lenders and reviewed by an unbiased third party such as MSU Extension.
  5. Be financially realistic. Discuss your options with the housing counseling agency(s) working with you. Sometimes it is a better option to sell the home rather than face impending foreclosure.

The following pages describe the foreclosure process: