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Mark Cappel
UpdatedMar 31, 2010

I paid my mortgage late, which resulted in $6,000 in fees. What can I do about this?

I made late payments on my mortgage, therefore, late fees have racked up to approx $6,000. What recourse do I have? We make the payments, just late, then property taxes had to be paid. I would like to have my taxes put into escrow. I faxed over information and have not had any response.

Generally speaking, when a default is caused by a temporary condition likely to end within 60 days, the lender may consider granting "temporary indulgence". Homeowners who have suffered a temporary loss of income but can demonstrate that the income has returned to its previous level may be able to structure a "repayment plan". This plan requires normal mortgage payments to be made as scheduled along with an additional amount that will end the delinquency in no more than 12 to 24 months. In some cases, the additional amount may be a lump sum due at a specific date in the future.

Repayment plans are common, and I suggest you contact your mortgage servicer (probably a bank) and ask about a repayment plan to catch up on your payments.

I suggest you also look to the root cause of your making your mortgage payments late consistently. If it is simply a matter of cash-flow, i.e., a difference between when your income arrives and when the mortgage payment is due, perhaps you can work with the mortgage servicer to adjust the date to smooth out your pay date and payment date.

If the problem is that you cannot afford the monthly payment you should consider applying for a mortgage loan modification. If a loan modification does not work I encourage you to read an article I wrote, I Can't Afford My Home, What Should I Do?

Being delinquent on the payments can negatively affect your credit rating. However, the credit bureaus only report a delinquency when the late payment is 30 days or more.

It is very important to stay current on your mortgage payment so as to avoid a negative impact on the credit rating. A person's credit score usually takes a big hit when mortgage payments are missed, but continuing to pay your accounts on time should slowly improve your credit profile. How long it will take for your score to improve really depends on how much damage your credit score suffered during the past seven years, and how many positive credit listings are now appearing on your credit report.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.