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If you’re planning on ditching your mortgage payments and letting your home fall into foreclosure, now just may be the time to do it.Thanks to record long waits for foreclosure reviews this year, 40 per cent of homeowners in default have been sitting pretty in their homes for the last two years without paying a dime, CNN Money reports.
And they know exactly what they’re doing.
“It is happening and it’s happening more frequently,” says Chantay Bridges, a senior real estate specialist with Clear Choice Realty & Associates. “They know they have a least a year (for the foreclosure to go through), at minimum, and people are taking advantage of it.”
By enlisting a host of tactics to delay the foreclosure process, like filing bankruptcy, pushing back short sale dates and hitting lenders with requests for more documentation, consumers are able to further delay the inevitable.
But in some cases, the system drags on long enough without extra roadblocks.
The loan modification process alone can take a year or longer and often consumers won’t bother making mortgage payments in the process. After all, if you show banks you can afford you monthly mortgage, why would they consider modifying your loan?
The key here is to keep in touch with lenders throughout the modification process. Once you’re in, they won’t contact your creditors about missed payments.
Walking away from a home that costs more than it’s worth could be the best option for some consumers desperate to downsize and start fresh.
And even though lenders can choose to go after you for missed payments, it’s something of a rarity.
“You don’t often see (lenders) standing in a court of law taking mum and dad to court,” Bridges says. “They’re going to try to resell the home or something along those lines.”
The real threat to your finances is the beating your credit score will surely take once you let your home fall into foreclosure – a 100-point loss or more.