For decades, homeownership has benefitted families and communities all over America with greater stability, economic prosperity, safer neighborhoods, better educational opportunities, and even improved health. The recent increase in foreclosures threatens previous gains made in homeownership, as millions of families who had hoped for sustainable homeownership are now struggling to pay their mortgages. This brochure is designed as a quick reference for resources to help families who are at risk of foreclosure, and also provides information on how to avoid the type of loans most likely to lead to trouble.
If you are having trouble paying your mortgage for any reason, or expect problems, you should work with your loan servicer (the company that collects payments on your mortgage) or other experts to find a solution now. If you fall behind and don’t take action, the lender will foreclose on your home. If that happens, you may lose your home and all of the money you have already invested in it. The sooner you act, the better the chances you will avoid foreclosure. The Center for Responsible Lending estimates that over 2 million American households with subprime mortgages have lost or will lose their homes by the end of 2009. Their neighbors will suffer financial losses, too, as these foreclosures cause nearby property values to drop by $356 billion. This brochure will help you understand your options and give you tips on how to avoid losing your home—regardless of what kind of mortgage you have.