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Mortgage & Household Debt

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What Is Negative Equity on Your Mortgage?

Equity represents how much you own of an asset. So home equity is the percentage of your home that you own.  If you paid off your mortgage (or purchased the house with cash), you have 100% equity in your home.  If your home is worth, let’s say … $400,000, and your outstanding mortgage balance is...

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What Is Loss Mitigation and How Does It Work?

Sometimes, life brings unexpected surprises that make it difficult or impossible to keep up with your mortgage payments. If that happens, a lender can foreclose on your property. Foreclosures are rarely the desired outcome for borrowers or lenders; they usually end up being costly and inconvenient for everyone involved. That’s exactly why loss mitigation exists....

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Mortgage Subordination, Explained

If tapping into your home’s equity is in your future, so is a whole lot of paperwork. And whether you’re taking out a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC) (both are types of second mortgages or junior liens), you may be presented with a subordination agreement to sign at closing....

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Lien vs. Encumbrance: What’s the Difference?

Oddly enough, owning a home does not give you complete control over it. There may be a variety of limits or claims on your property rights, including liens and encumbrances. Liens and encumbrances are different – and understanding these differences will help shed light on the broader topic of titles and other legal matters around...

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Deficiency Judgment: What Is It and How Does It Work?

As a homeowner, you don’t plan on having to deal with foreclosure – and hopefully, you won’t ever have to. You can help prevent foreclosure by making your payments on time and communicating with your lender, but sometimes life hits unexpectedly hard, making it difficult or impossible to pay your mortgage.  A single late payment...

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What Are Underwater Mortgages?

When it comes to owning a home, some surprises aren’t as welcome as others. If you just found out that your outstanding mortgage balance is more than your home is worth, you have what’s known as an underwater mortgage, also known as an upside-down mortgage. If you have an upside-down mortgage, don’t panic. You have...

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What Is Mortgage Delinquency?

Mortgage delinquency is a term used to describe the state of a mortgage when the borrower falls behind on their payments. This can happen for a variety of reasons, and it can lead to plenty of consequences and stress. Left unaddressed, mortgage delinquency can lead to foreclosure proceedings. If you’ve begun to fall behind on...

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Should I Pay Off My Mortgage or Invest?

Whether it’s a financial windfall, accumulated savings, an annual bonus or a pay increase, you may be wondering whether it’s better to invest your extra cash or pay off your mortgage early.  Regardless of how you’ve come into your money, your goal is to set yourself up for future financial success. While there is no...

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What Does Being “House Poor” Mean and What To Do About It

Home equity in a primary residence is the largest source of wealth for families across the nation, according to the National Association of Home Builders. As a result, many people see homeownership as a sure path to building their nest egg – and in many cases, this can be true.  But the heart is not...

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Can You Pay Off Someone Else’s Mortgage?

Can your parents pay off your mortgage? Yes. Can you pay off your parents’ mortgage? Aww … and, yes.  In fact, you don’t have to be related to a homeowner to offer the gift of a mortgage payoff or a mortgage payment. You can make a payment on someone else’s mortgage to help them out...

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What Is a Mortgage Reinstatement?

Three things in life are certain: taxes, iPhone updates and unexpected expenses. Unexpected expenses can cost homeowners a lot – even their homes. If you’re struggling to make your mortgage payments because of a medical emergency, an accident or the upheaval we all experienced during the COVID-19 lockdowns, you’re not alone. In March 2021, over...

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How To Pay Off Your 30-Year Mortgage in 15 Years

A house is one of the biggest purchases you’ll probably make in your lifetime. Who wouldn’t want to pay off such a big purchase early? Even with low interest rates on 30-year mortgages, if you pay off your mortgage in less time – let’s say 15 years, for example – you’ll owe less in overall...

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