What are my rights if I’ve fallen behind in my mortgage payments due to illness?

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What are my rights if I’ve fallen behind in my mortgage payments due to illness?

I am looking for an affordable attorney to represent my sister and I. Our mother passed away 3 years ago; we stayed with her until she passed. She left no Will, so after she died we called the mortgage company and asked what did we need to do. They told us to keep paying the mortgage. We

did for almost 3 years. However, this year I was rushed to the hospital and stayed there for 1 1/2 months. That caused us to get behind in the payments and now they are threating foreclosure. We don’t want to lose the house, besides that we don’t have anywhere to go so we would be homeless. Both my sister and I are disabled.

Asked on July 16, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You don't have any "rights," other than to pay the balance due on the mortgage: if you "cure" the shortfall by paying the arrears, they can't foreclose. But if you remain behind on the mortgage, they can foreclose, and your personal situation, medical needs, etc. do not have any bearing on the matter: a lender is *not* barred from foreclosing because the mortgagors (the homeown[s]) have medical conditions  (even significant disabilities) or would be rendered homeless.
What you can do is negotiate with the lender. As a general matter, lenders do not want homes, since they'd have to pay to foreclose, pay to maintain them until the sale, have to arrange a sale, pay the cost of sale, etc. What they want is to be paid. If you can propose an arrangment under which you will remain current on new payments then pay off the arrears over time, there is a considerable likelihood they will accept.
Or else, if you have equity in the house, you may need to try to sell it now, take the equity, and either buy a less expensive place or rent.


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