Thursday, January 13, 2011

What if my Bank tells me to Stop Paying my Mortgage?

We get this question all the time from potential bankruptcy clients, and we always answer this question with a question: Do you have that in writing?

Unfortunately, more and more people are claiming they were told by bank customer service representatives that they should stop paying their mortgage payments. In many cases this is the "advice" given when requesting a refinancing or trying to convince a bank to accept a short sale. However, I have never had one of these homeowners tell me that they obtained this advice in writing.

The result is too often a foreclosure proceeding that the homeowner now wants to avoid. But if they can't cure the arrears they may not be able to keep the property at this point unless they can prove the advice that they were given. According to a recent ABA Journal article, even a Judge fell for this trap.

If you have a mortgage, it requires you to make regular payments or end up in default, which could lead to foreclosure. Don't take advice that says any different unless you get a written agreement from the bank to forgo payment. If you don't make your payments, and have no evidence that the bank advised you to do so, then you put yourself at risk of foreclosure.

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