July 1, 2008
Originally published by the St. Louis Beacon. By Mary Delach Leonard, Beacon staff
When you call the hotline, you will be asked for some basic information before being referred to a HUD-approved nonprofit housing counselor. The counseling is free and private.
Before you make the initial call, gather the following information:
1. Your monthly mortgage billing statement. Somewhere on this statement, you will find the name of the loan servicer (where you send payments) and your account number. You may need to get a magnifying glass; the print can be very small.
Name of mortgage servicer:
Your loan account number:
2. The zip code where your property is located:
3. The legal first and last names of the property owners:
Save time by collecting other information counselors may request:
1. Date and purchase price of your home
2. Terms of your loan and interest rate (again, you may need to read the fine print)
3. Your current house payment
4. Does that amount include taxes and insurance?
5. How many payments have you missed?
6. What is the current value of your home?
7. Have you received letters from an attorney?
8. Give a brief explanation of what caused your financial hardship
9. Income documents: pay stubs, benefit statements from unemployment, retirement income, public assistance, Social Security and disability
10. A copy of your tax return
11. Monthly household expenses (utilities, food, health care)
12. Other monthly debts (credit cards, car loans, student loans)
13. Have you filed for bankruptcy since owning this home?
14. What have you done to remedy the situation?
15. Have you had previous problems paying your mortgage?