Md. mortgage troubles
One in eight -- that's how many Maryland borrowers were at least a month behind on their mortgage payments during the spring, according to new numbers.
What can you do if you're in that group?
The state says to call for help immediately -- before you're in trouble, even, if you're still current but see problems on the horizon. It has a foreclosure-help hot line -- 877-462-7555 -- to put you in touch with a nonprofit housing counseling agency near you. Or you can find the list of HUD-approved nonprofits here.
The struggle to get assistance from lenders has been well publicized, so I wondered how much success local foreclosure-prevention counselors are having. The state Department of Housing and Community Development said the nonprofits helped just over 4,500 people avoid foreclosure in the fiscal year that ended June 30. (That runs the gamut from people who received a repayment plan to those who got their mortgage refinanced, and includes folks who sold their homes.)
That "avoided foreclosure" group is up 33 percent from the previous fiscal year, the state says.
But nearly 13,700 in total saw counselors in the year ending June 30. So what happened to the nearly 9,200 who aren't on record as avoiding foreclosure? The state says some of those homeowners are still in counseling, some dropped out of the system and the rest ended up in foreclosure, bankruptcy or similarly depressing circumstances.