This is a cross-post from a forum, reposted here with the author's permission. I thought it might be of value to some of my readers:
A post in another forum served as a reminder of the economic fragility that many solidly middle class families are facing these days. My day job is in the affordable housing non-profit field, and my agency is among many on the front lines in saving homes and saving families from foreclosure.
So I will repeat what I said in the other thread:
For anyone who is getting behind in their mortgages and worrying about foreclosure, please get help from a non-profit housing organization sooner rather than later. There are new programs and new funds available to help, and banks are much more agreeable to loan modifications and deferrals than they were just a little while ago.
When you're starting to get behind get some help - call the local HUD-certified housing counselling agency. A list can be found here, or call the HOPE hotline at 888-985=HOPE (4673).
There are a lot of pseudo counsellors and "debt relief specialists" out there preying upon people who are financially and mentally exhausted by economic turmoil. Stay away from them and get help from the non-profits who are the front line of defense in the current housing troubles. My agency has rescued dozens from foreclosure and saved more than 70 rental units that were abandoned by their owners, during the past year alone. There are many more like us.
Please get the name of the people near you from the HOPE line or website, and please be patient with them, they're among the most overwhelmed workers in our country right now.
If anyone has questions on the availability of resources or anything else to do with these housing rescue programs please feel free to PM me. I will, of course, keep any information private.
Don't go it alone - individual cases may differ tremendously, but many people can actually be helped if they get help early and find people who can intervene with lenders.