Q: Unbeknownst to me my husband stopped paying our mortgage payments. When I found out, I called to find out how much of a payment I had to make to get caught up on the mortgage.
I was told our mortgage was going into foreclosure. I was also told I could still make our payment but I would have to wait up to ten days to receive a letter with exact amount owed. I’m concerned that if I make up the missing payments, what is to stop my husband from not making future payments?
A: The problem with having only one person in a household be responsible for payments is that the other person loses touch completely with the family finances.
The good news is that you found out your husband had stopped making payments, contacted your lender and are now waiting for instructions. Clearly, you want to get the payments on track.
If a borrower that has been in good standing for the prior twelve months on their loan and that borrower lives in the home as his or her primary residence, most standard residential loan documents give that borrower the right to get back into good standing with their lender and stop a foreclosure by making up all amounts owed the lender.
What you need to find out is why your husband stopped making payments in the first place. Did he lose his job or have to take a pay cut and didn’t want you to know (or worry)? Was he trying to stretch out your money until he started bringing home another paycheck? Or is there some other reason that may be causing your husband to believe or need to stop paying the mortgage on the home?
If your husband is hiding important information about your finances, getting to the bottom of it won’t be fun. He may be defensive, or he may be hiding something even worse. Either way, you have to sum up the courage to confront him and find out what’s going on. Then, you and he have to figure out how to solve the problems going forward.
The only way to know if your husband is paying your mortgage (and other bills) is by checking each month. You can call the lender to find out if a payment has been made. You can sign up for online access to accounts for your savings, checking, brokerage and credit card accounts and check those regularly. Or, you can have your monthly bill payments deducted automatically from your checking account.
I also suggest you pull a copy of your credit history and score from each of the three credit reporting bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com. Look over each credit history carefully for errors and other accounts that shouldn’t be there. It would be useful for you to see your credit history and understand what outstanding obligations you have that are being reported to the credit reporting bureaus along with any other information relating to your accounts and your payment history.
By the way, I wouldn’t just hang around waiting for the letter to show up from your lender. If you don’t hear back within 10 days of calling, call again. Be the squeaky wheel. It seems that’s the only way to get something done.