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Understanding options to stay in your home

Struggling to make your mortgage payments due to a short- or long-term financial hardship? There are options to help you stay in your home.


As soon as you realize you have (or potentially will have) a problem paying your mortgage, reaching out to your loan servicer (the company listed on your mortgage statement) is the best decision you can make – and one that may help you keep your home. They are your best resource for identifying a solution that’s right for your individual situation.

Your loan servicer will work with you to determine if you're eligible for any of the following workout options to stay in your home.

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    Refinance

    This option will completely replace your current mortgage with a new loan with different terms that can make your mortgage more affordable or sustainable.

    Who's it for?

    If you’re current on your mortgage payments and have enough equity built up in your home.

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    Freddie Mac Enhanced Relief Refinance℠

    If you owe more on your mortgage than your home is worth, an Enhanced Relief Refinance Mortgage can help you refinance your loan to more favorable terms. Your mortgage must be owned by Freddie Mac for this option, but other institutions may have similar products.

    Who's it for?

    If you’re current, but underwater, on your mortgage and unable to refinance through standard programs due to your high loan-to-value ratio.

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    Forbearance

    This is an agreement between you and your loan servicer (the company listed on your mortgage statement) to either suspend or reduce your monthly mortgage payments for a specified period of time.

    This is often combined with a reinstatement or a repayment plan to pay off the missed or reduced mortgage payments when your financial situation stabilizes.

    Who's it for?

    If you’re facing a short-term hardship and are currently unable to make your payments on time.

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    Reinstatement

    This option allows you to become current on your delinquent mortgage by paying the entire amount you’re behind (including taxes and insurance, delinquent interest and other expenses incurred by your lender).

    Who's it for?

    If your hardship has ended and you’re able to make a lump sum payment by a specific date.

    In most cases, this option makes sense when you can show that funds from a bonus, tax refund, new employment or other income source will become available soon.

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    Repayment Plan

    This allows you to bring your mortgage current by setting up a schedule of repayments over six to 12 months – adding a portion of the overdue amount to each monthly payment.

    Who's it for?

    If you’ve recovered from a short-term hardship and are able to afford your regular monthly payment plus a little more to cover past-due amounts.

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    Modification

    You and your loan servicer (the company listed on your mortgage statement) agree in writing to modify or restructure your mortgage to make it more affordable and sustainable. Common loan modifications include reducing the monthly payment amount, turning an adjustable-rate mortgage into a fixed-rate mortgage, or extending the number of years you have to repay the loan.

    Who's it for?

    If you’re facing a long-term financial hardship and are behind on your mortgage or expect you will fall behind soon.

There should never be a fee from a mortgage company or HUD-certified housing counselor to obtain assistance about options to help you stay in your home. Be wary of companies or individuals offering to help you for a fee, and never send a mortgage payment to any company other than the one listed on your monthly mortgage statement. If you believe you’ve been the victim of a mortgage scam, call 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) immediately.

Tools and Resources

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Worksheet: Contact Log

As you work with your loan servicer to get help, use this worksheet to log your conversations.

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Quiz: Understanding Foreclosure & Your Alternatives

If you’re struggling to make your mortgage payment, help is available. Do you know your options?

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Loan Look-Up Tool

Find out if Freddie Mac owns your loan.

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Options to leave your home