Fort Walton Beach Homeowners: Help To Save Home and Credit
The best part of my day trumped any real estate sale I could ever make. I was chatting a friend, whom I’ll call Jessica, in Fort Walton Beach Florida, when her cell phone rang. Jessica is a small business owner on the Emerald Coast, and I have bought her products for many years. Whenever I see her we talk about our lives and our businesses – one entrepreneur to another. Anyway, her phone rang and she looked at it, checking the caller id. “I am not answering that! It’s a bill collector”, she told me. Jessica proceeded to describe how her company’s profits had dwindled in the past year, so that now her income was reduced to one-third of what it was. “People put off buying my product, they want until they absolutely have to or just stop altogether,” she said. Jessica told me she had been getting behind in her credit card bills, and her mother had to pay her last three months mortgage payments. When creditors called, she would start into her sad story, “I am a single mother” and hope for any reprieve. She did not know how she was going to be able to make it. “I don’t want to lose my house!” she admitted.
I advised Jessica to take immediate action and first call her mortgage lenders. They might be able to help with one of the following steps:
- Modifying the mortgage terms for lower payments by extending the length of the loan
- Reducing the mortgage interest rate
- Temporarily suspending mortgage payments (forbearance)
- Allowing missed payments to be paid back over time
- Decreasing the total mortgage amount
Next, I told her to go online to Consumer Credit Counseling Service or the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Groups like CCCS help people with debt management. They may be able to arrange a plan with creditors to lower monthly payments and save a dire financial spiral. Organizations that work with consumers to manage debt usually charge a small monthly fee, but only if there is capacity to pay. Suze Orman, the well-known financial guru, endorses such programs for those in need. The Consumer Credit Counseling Service of West Florida can be reached directly at (850) 314-9888 and is located at 913 N. Beal Pkwy, Ste H, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547.
“Don’t delay!” I told Jessica, “Take action right away. If you take these steps now, you may be able to save your home and your credit.” She thanked me profusely, and said she had not known there was help available, and she would immediately call her lenders and the consumer credit counselors. If you are in a similar situation, don’t deny it or wait to take action. If you wait, it might be too late to save your home, your credit and your well-being.