Can’t pay mortgage. Final payment is due. Now what?

Q: Let’s say your home mortgage’s final payment comes due and you can’t pay it before the due date. How many days do you have after the due date to make the final payment, without losing your home?

A: If we understand your questions correctly, you’ve come a long way from the time you took out your mortgage until now when your last and final payment is owed on your loan. Most home loan documents give you a 15-day grace period to make each monthly mortgage payment. This means that your payment is due on the first day of every month but you have a grace period until the fifteenth day of the month for the payment to get to the lender.

What if I can’t prove I’ve paid my mortgage?

Once the 15th day comes and goes and you haven’t made your payment, your loan payment is late. At this point, you will owe a late fee to the lender on the amount you owe the lender. Most, but not all, mortgage loan documents provide for a penalty equal to 5 percent of the amount due as your late fee. So, if your loan payment was two thousand dollars, the late fee is one hundred dollars.

Let’s say you don’t have the money to make that last payment on time, but you know you will soon. Once you get the money, you can pay the late fee and the amount owed and the lender should accept it. The loan would then be canceled out as “paid in full.” We suspect, however, that you might have other issues going on and it may take you longer to get that money together.

What can you do if your mortgage is underwater?

You are so close to paying off your home. You have tremendous equity in the home as you’ve made all but one last payment on the loan. We doubt the lender will start foreclosure proceedings if your payment is one month late. But the lender will want to get paid and may start foreclosure proceedings at some point after you have failed to make that last payment.

I’m Struggling To Pay My Mortgage. What Are My Options?

Do you have any other way of pulling together the cash you need for that last payment? Do you have a family member or friend help you out temporarily so you avoid the late fees and other costs that could come down the line if you don’t make the payment? Can you do a quick side-hustle to make a few extra dollars?

Sometimes life throws you a financial curveball. If your financial crunch is temporary, we hope you can find a way to make the payment. Finding a way through, either by asking for help from family or friends, or earning a little extra cash over the next few months, will get you through these tough times.

Ex-Spouse Can’t Pay Mortgage: Now What?

If you truly can’t find the cash, reach out to your lender and see if they can help you by allowing you to delay the last payment. You might have to pay the penalties but if you can get them to wait a few months, it might be enough time to get you back on your feet financially.

Just make sure you understand any offer they present, including how much you’ll have to pay in fees and penalties. Good luck.

©2023 by Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency. A1604