KSL INVESTIGATES

Gephardt: More Homeowners Worried About Missing House Payments, Lenders Willing To Help

Mar 17, 2021, 7:17 PM | Updated: 7:39 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Throughout the past year, KSL has been reporting on an eviction crisis: Renters who lost their jobs have faced losing their homes too. Now, some frightening new numbers show homeowners are also worried about making their housing payments.

While much of the economy has stalled, the housing market has not. Within the hot national sector, Utah’s market is on fire like no other. Great news for real estate investors, but not so great if you are trying to find an affordable place to live.

Now we’ve learned that homeowners are worried about keeping the roofs over their heads or at least keeping their home lenders off their backs. A new survey from WalletHub said, “36% more Americans are worried about missing a mortgage payment in 2021 than last year.”

The same survey also found missing a mortgage payment came in second only to missing a credit card payment as a concern for most Americans.

WalletHub’s Jill Gonzalez described the results as worrisome.

“This is not time to worry about having housing and a roof over your head,” she said. “Mortgages are a slippery slope. When you start missing payments, when you become delinquent on your mortgage, that’s when talks of foreclosure and bankruptcy tend to pop up here as well.”

The good news is that lenders do not really want to foreclose on homes. For them, it is an expensive and painful procedure. If you are in over your head, be proactive and reach out to your bank before you miss a payment, Gonzalez said.

“The banks are actually being very forgiving right now. And they were pretty proactive as well. In March, they started letting people know, you know, ‘If you need help, call us, we will help you,’” she explained. “But you have to make that call.”

If you do ask for help, ask nicely. Believe it or not, WalletHub said they have data that proves when customers do not yell at customer service representatives — they get further faster.

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Gephardt: More Homeowners Worried About Missing House Payments, Lenders Willing To Help