Alternative to selling?
June 30, 2011 8:22 AM   Subscribe

I am a homeowner who may be out of a job soon. Instead of selling my house, is there any assistance/help/aid I can apply for to help me in this time of crisis?
posted by ObscureReferenceMan to Work & Money (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Since you do have some advance warning, you might want to look into a credit protection plan one one or more of your credit cards, though there are some caveats to these, so be sure to read all the fine print.

Any chance of renting out a room to help make some of the payments?
posted by reptile at 8:30 AM on June 30, 2011

Talk to your mortgage lender. There are some options, especially in this bad economy, you can try. Losing a job often entitles you to forebearance and/or deferrment of your mortgage payment for a temporary period of time. Lenders, believe it or not, do not want you to default on your mortgage, so they will try to work with you. And remember - it's better to talk to them before something happens rather than after you've missed payment. Best thing to do is speak to your lending institution - they should try to help. Good luck.
posted by Falwless at 10:08 AM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

Excuse my award-winning spelling. I mean forbearance/deferment.
posted by Falwless at 10:14 AM on June 30, 2011

Do you have mortgage insurance?
posted by Kurichina at 10:53 AM on June 30, 2011

In my readings the government mortgage modification program has been horrible at helping people, so it may be in your best interest to refinance now while you have a job. I would talk to your local credit union about refinancing and the rates they are offering.

If you have not tracked your spending do it now. Here are some places I myself have cut during this time:

Can you reduce your cell phone bill?
Do you really need cable? - I haven't had cable for 6 years
Do you have student loans? When you become unemployed you can defer them.
How much are you spending on groceries? Can that be reduced?
Do you water your lawn? Are you over watering it?
Monthly recurring charges - do you read those magazines, do you use that gym membership?
Here are some more - suggestions.

Best of luck to you.
posted by BuffaloChickenWing at 11:12 AM on June 30, 2011

While you are still employed, change to an interest only mortgage. This is usually an 5 year interest only and then it becomes a variable mortgage. Not sure if this is doable today but I did it 7 years ago to lower my payment to the absolute minimum.
posted by Ferrari328 at 12:07 PM on June 30, 2011

IANALawyer/banker. Can you try filing for a Financial Hardship?

My friend and her fiance bought a house together. Then their employer cut them both back on hours and pay. Then they broke up. What to do about the house?

After filing for a financial hardship for him, my friend also paid some money (a couple thousand dollars, so no small change) to help refinance the house in just his name and lower the payments and get her name off of the legal documents.

So he pays less. He also got a friend to rent a room for him to help with the payments.

Good luck to you!
posted by jillithd at 12:09 PM on June 30, 2011

Get a lodger.
posted by koahiatamadl at 1:02 PM on June 30, 2011

Look for a part-time or second job, now, before actually losing your current job. Even a few months of working weekends as a convenience store clerk, or a stocker at Walmart, or service counselor at a local tire store, or driving a cab, can mean you can save several thousand dollars, which may be all you need to tide you over loss of your current primary job, until you find another one. In addition to perhaps helping with mortgage payments, your extra savings might even get you farther, if you get any decent kind of severance package from your current job, by letting you keep your health insurance by paying COBRA payments, etc.
posted by paulsc at 4:48 PM on June 30, 2011

Check with your local community assistance programs. I lost my job suddenly and the local assistance program paid my rent for 3 months. If I owned my home, they would have paid the mortgage for 3 months.
posted by JujuB at 9:40 PM on June 30, 2011

Definitely look into this.
posted by troywestfield at 8:01 AM on July 1, 2011

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