I relocated for a job a few years ago. The property I owned previously is still on the market. I have had 3 offers in 3 years and all the sales fell through for one reason or another. My wife lost her job and the properties (2 houses/two mortgages) is becoming more and more difficult to pay for and has caused me to have credit card debt as well. What are my options?
If you can no long afford to make the monthly payments on the mortgages the few options you have to look into would be a short sale, foreclosure, and bankruptcy. Generally speaking, it is better to do a short sale rather than a foreclosure. Through a short sale the lender agrees to accept less than the balance owed on the mortgage at sale. The deficiency balance is forgiven, typically. To learn more about the differences between a short sale and foreclosure please read a blog article I wrote discussing A Deed In Lieu Of Foreclosure vs. A Short Sale.
With respect to your credit card debt you may want to look at the few different options consumers have. The first option is that you can try to consolidating the credit card debts with a personal loan from a bank. If you are unable to obtain a loan you may want to consider a consumer credit counseling or debt settlement program. In a credit counseling program the credit counseling will negotiate reductions in your interest rates with your creditors. You will still pay off the balance entirely with regular monthly payments. This typically will show up on your credit report as a third party assisting you with your unsecured debts. With a debt settlement program regular monthly payments are not disbursed to your credits. Your money is set aside and builds up to negotiate a reduction in the overall balance you owe to your creditors. Monthly payments are typically much less that what the creditors demand. This has a short term negative impact on your credit scores. If you would like to learn more about how debt relief works I recommend you read What Are My Debt Consolidation Options?.
If you have exhausted the avenues mentioned above, and these options still do not alleviate your situation I strongly encourage you to speak with a licensed bankruptcy attorney in your state.
I hope this information helps you Find, Save, and Learn.