Where would homeowners go if they were struggling with mortgage payments? According to a new survey by the nonprofit credit counseling agency Money Management International (MMI), the majority would initially tap their family or friends for assistance.
In a national survey of approximately 1,000 people, 50% of respondents said that family members or friends would be the first ones they'd seek out for financial help in making mortgage payments. Twenty-six percent said they would go to their lender for help, while 13% said they'd contact a housing counseling or mortgage relief program.
Furthermore, 25% of survey respondents reported they or someone they know needed assistance making mortgage payments during the last four years. Fifty-seven percent said they would seek help only after a job loss. Among those who have sought assistance, 63% said they did so when they were one to three months behind on their mortgage payments, 22% when they were four to six months behind, and 4% when they were seven or more months behind.
When asked about concerns regarding available resources and options for mortgage assistance, 53% of survey respondents stated they were concerned about scams and fraudulent services.
‘Homeowners face real concerns when considering who to turn to for help with mortgage troubles,’ says Jo Kerstetter, vice president of education and community relations for MMI. ‘For the millions of homeowners who still face possible foreclosure, it is important to remember that quality help is available for free from HUD-certified housing counselors nationwide.’