Understanding Your Options


If you are having trouble making your mortgage payments, there may be options available. Your loan servicer or lender will explain which one is best for you based on your financial situation and the type of mortgage insurance you have.

Options to Stay In Your Home

  • Maine HOPE – If you are a MaineHousing borrower and cannot make payments because you have lost your job, you may qualify for Maine HOPE, the HomeOwnership Protection for unEmployment plan. This program may be available to assist you by making four of your MaineHousing mortgage payments, including taxes and homeowners insurance. The amount paid becomes a junior mortgage lien, with no interest. The lien is repaid when you pay off your MaineHousing mortgage or stop using the home as your primary residence. This option is available for MaineHousing borrowers only.
  • MaineHousing Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) -If you are a MaineHousing borrower and are currently delinquent on your mortgage loan payment or at risk of foreclosure, you may be eligible for MaineHousing's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). This program reduces the outstanding loan balance of your existing mortgage loan thereby lowering your monthly mortgage payments to an affordable payment. The amount of the loan reduction becomes a junior mortgage lien, with no interest and no monthly payments due. The lien is repaid when you pay off your MaineHousing First Home loan mortgage or stop using your home as a primary residence. This option is available for MaineHousing borrowers only.
  • Payment Plan - If you are behind on your regular monthly mortgage payment and think you’ll soon be able to make regular monthly payments again, you may be eligible for a payment plan. Your loan servicer or lender can discuss what plans may be available based on the number of months that you are behind on your mortgage.
  • Special Forbearance - A special forbearance is a written agreement to lower or stop your payment for a period of time. It works best if you expect a bonus, settlement, or tax refund that you will use to bring your loan up to date in one lump sum. This option is subject to investor and mortgage insurer guidelines.
  • Loan Modification - A loan modification is a written agreement that adjusts your loan by adding the past due amount to your loan balance and adjusting the rest of the payments to reflect the new loan amount. This option is used for loans more than three payments past due, and requires the value of your house to be greater than the loan amount.


Options to Gracefully Exit Your Home

If you think your financial trouble may be long term or permanent and believe you will not be able to keep your home, you still have options. You may be able to get out from under your mortgage debt without foreclosure and avoid unnecessary damage to your credit.

  • Pre-Foreclosure Sale/Short SaleA lender approved, pre-foreclosure sale or short sale allows you to sell your home before foreclosure is completed. When your home is sold, you will be expected to pay all or most of your loan amount. In some cases, the amount you get from the sale may be less than the amount that you owe. 
  • Deed-in-Lieu - If you don’t think you can sell your home, a Deed-in-Lieu of foreclosure allows you to transfer your property to the mortgage holder rather than go through the public process of foreclosure. To qualify for a Deed-in-Lieu, you must have tried to sell your property for at least 90 days. Also, you cannot have any other liens on your property, such as another loan, IRS or state tax liens, or the judgments of other creditors.


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