Banks want you to keep your home

Posted by on Thursday, April 28th, 2016 at 4:31pm.

You may be one of the thousands of Albertans worried that they might lose their homes during this recession.  After all, isn’t foreclosure the normal course of action when home owners can’t make mortgage payments? 

It’s a tough spot to be in, but really, your lender really does want you to keep your home and they will work with you at great length to try and keep the keys on your pocket.

Many Edmonton families with roots in the community have at least one adult in the household collecting unemployment.   Some can still make mortgage payments but some are struggling, making either partial payments or no payments, crossing their fingers that they’ll find a job in time or hoping the bank won’t call.

It’s important to call the bank even before they think of calling you.  Tell your lender exactly your financial situation and the sooner the better.  It’s called being proactive and there’s no shame to it at all.

In fact, call everyone that you owe money to, including credit card companies.  Tell them what’s happening and garner their support.  You might be surprised at what options there are for you.  There are thousands of people in your situation and while you’re likely very tired of people telling you this is only temporary, it’s true and the companies you own money to realize this as well.

Fear is a great immobilizer.  The inertia fear creates often stops people from taking control of things and makes it very difficult for people to pick up the phone.  It’s not as hard as you might think.

Banks and lending institutions don’t want to see people lose their home.  There’s a great deal of different between being completely irresponsible and having difficult making ends meet when your livelihood is taken away from you, through no fault of your own.

Your mortgage lender is an ally.   They’ll walk you through your options and help you avoid costly penalties, if any. 

If you are still working but are afraid you might be laid off, it’s still a good idea to talk to your lender and have a “what-if” conversation so you know what to expect.

No surprises

Some options include deferring payments – on your mortgage, any loans you might have including car payments.  What are the consequences down the line of deferring payments for a few months.  Ask about non-essential costs if your house – what’s imperative and what’s not?  Some of the utilities you have signed up for might be charging you for services you don’t really need.

The key is to keep the lines of communication open, because the bank really doesn’t want to take back the keys to your home – it’s not in their best interests and will only do so at a last resort after all possibilities have been exhausted..  If you are a customer that keeps touch with the bank and not hiding out of fear, then that’s a sign to the bank that you continue to be a good risk.

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