Missed One Mortgage Payment: Is Foreclosure a Possibility?

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You probably already know that making your mortgage payments on time every month is of the utmost importance. Failure to do so can ultimately end up costing you your home and ruining your credit score. Your mortgage agreement is binding, and if you aren’t able to hold up your end of the deal, your bank or lender is lawfully able to take your house from you and sell it to get the money that they loaned to you.

What about late payments? If you’ve never been late before, making one mortgage payment a few days late won’t send you into foreclosure, but make sure you communicate with your lender to let them know the payment will be late, and why. They may ask you a few questions to determine if you are at risk for missing payments in the future, but for the most part, being late by a few days, one time, is not likely to cause you a problem.

Let’s look at another potential situation. There may be a time during which you miss an entire month’s payment. This may be due to many factors, but for now let’s assume that you only miss one month’s mortgage payment, and you are able to make the subsequent months’ payments on time.

This, essentially, causes you to be chronically one month behind on your mortgage. Until you are able to make two payments in one month, your mortgage will technically be in arrears. Yes, you “only” missed one payment, but to your lender, every payment is important.

Can your lender begin foreclosure proceedings if you miss one payment but then continue to make all subsequent payments on time? Yes. While we cannot officially speak to the probability of this becoming an actuality, it’s not likely, at least in our experience. However, it is important that you are in regular contact with your lender to ensure that foreclosure is not in your future.

If your money trouble really was a one-time-only event that is extremely unlikely to recur in the future, you may be able to negotiate a way for you to pay back the missed payment in increments. Your lender may also allow you to tack that missed payment onto the end of your loan.

Whether your financial difficulty was short-lived or if it looks like you may have some continual struggle in the future, it is important to consult with a foreclosure experienced attorney. S/he will be able to negotiate with your mortgage lender so that you don’t have to.

Additionally, if your financial distress is ongoing, your attorney can help you apply for a permanent loan modification that will ensure that you can afford your payment every month. If your lender has already started foreclosure proceedings, a Chapter 13 reorganization of your debts can stop the foreclosure and allow you to save your home.

 

Image credit: Keirsten Marie

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