With the current economic conditions, there are many people who are saying exactly what you are saying "How do I get out from under a house I can't afford". Unfortunately, one answer does not fit all. One of the considerations is whether the house is your primary residence. If the home is your primary residence and you want to stay in the home, then check the Making Homes Affordable website to see if you qualify for either HARP (home affordable refinance program) or HAMP (home affordable modification Program) -- I've included a link in the web references section. Whether the house is your primary residence or not, if you wish to no longer own the property, have a realtor conduct a comparative market anaylsis and discuss your marketing strategies. If you owe more on your home than it's current market value, a short sale may be an option. There are three things that a lender is typically looking for in a short sale situation: a hardship, a monthly shortfall of income or impending shortfall of income, and insolvency. Each of these options have a variety of pros and cons dependant upon your specific situation, so talking with a reputable professionals (attorney, accountant, realtor) is important. Good luck Gwen.
On another note, while calling your lender directly for a modification isn't a bad idea because they are often receptive, they are also slammed. Often times, if a consumer initiates his/her own modification, time will run out because the lenders just don't follow up. This is why I favor makinghomeaffordable.gov or hopenow.com because they'll put your case in the hands of a counselor for free. There are some, albeit few, good and reputable loan modifiction firms. Sadly, I know only 2. Astounding. Anyway, if you're with a good one, that's a good way to go too.
If it were easy, everybody would say I quit. Half the people I deal with are in some sort of difficulty with their house. You have to have a verifiable need, it has to be proven on paper that you can't afford your mortgage.
It is called hardship. If you qualify, depending on the lender, contact them for a modification. If that does not work, the seond option is a short sale. Mortgage people, who is right 2 or 3 years to get a FHA mortgage after foreclosure? Is it possible to repair your credit 200-300 points in that period of time?
1) You sell it
2) Ask for loan modification
3) Sell as a short sale while working with your mortgage bank and a professional and go over, if any, future ramnifications.
4) Go into foreclosure (not the best option)
You'll want to go over your options with the bank, a real estate professional and an qualified real estate attorney.
Realtor since 1980
(651) 457-HOME (4663)