Good news, bad news. First good news is you are still hanging in there, congratulations. I know its hard, one day at a time. Next good news, buyers are starting to come out again and the spring market is starting earlier because everyone seems to have held off for so long.
The bad news is housing prices went down for the first time in over 40 years. Things in general are probably getting worst. You need to start looking at alternatives if your house doesn't sell. Do you have to sell? What expenses could you get rid of? How could you perhaps earn more money?
Go to your boss, ask for a raise. Go to your lender, ask them to waive one payment (tack it onto the end of your loan). See what you have that you could sell on Craigslist.
Thank you for your suggestion, I called my lender.
The answer I received from them was: To refinance current 5/1 ARM loan to Interest only loan the house must be "off the market" for at least 60 days. At the same time, based on the estimates from the lender, their opinion was that my current rate is very competitive, hence, refinancing to interest only would reduce the monthly payment by very little.
Furthermore, my home is in the market, hence this option was not feasible in my case, great suggestion Diane, and I recommend it for those who are just putting their home in the market.
At this time, I think the strongest possibility is to market the home as much as possible.
Best to you
It took me a while to find this because it is just a little old to search in the Chicago Tribune. On Sunday, Oct 21 was a good article on getting help when you cannot afford your mortgage payments.
Have you spoken with your lender? The most common reaction by people in your situation is to avoid your lender. That is the wrong thing to do. You need to work with them. You do not want to let it go to foreclosure.
They refer you to the following for help:
*ACORN, 209 W. Jackson Blvd. People wanting help with foreclosure must call its hot line, 888-409-3557 to secure an appointment; some help is available via phone. Calls should be returned within 48 hours. Counseling available in seven languages.
*City of Chicago 311 help line. Any city resident can dial 311 and be connected with one of three credit counseling agencies that provide free mortgage help. Calls not immediately taken should be returned by the next business day. Spanish counseling is available.
*Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago Inc. Each office offers counseling. Call for an appointment -- usually available within two weeks. The central, Back of the Yards and Chicago Lawn/Gage Park locations have Spanish counseling.
Central Office/Neighborhood Lending Services, 1279 N. Milwaukee Ave., 5th Floor, 773-329-4010.
I'm sure if you contact them, they can let you know of some Western Suburb locations.