There are times in our lives when the unexpected happens and we find it difficult to cope financially. It could be a job loss, an unexpected illness, the death of a loved one or separation and divorce. There may be enough money to get by for a few months, but soon many families find themselves overwhelmed as the bills start to mount and household finances begin to dwindle. Then households may start to miss payments to creditors, including a mortgage payment. While a one-time missed payment can easily be dealt with, long term problems may need a different approach. Consider the following:
- Missing payments. If there are a few missed mortgage payments, it might be difficult to get a bank loan to pay the arrears. By missing payments it looks as if there might be an issue repaying the loan. There is a difference between a missed payment and a late payment. A missed payment is one that is completely missed and never made up. A late payment is one that’s not paid on time, but made up.
- How a lender views arrears. Again, it might be a challenge to get a loan when in arrears, especially when unemployed. Lenders may, however, work with clients on a plan to pay the arrears while keeping other payments current. This can be quite onerous and stressful since lenders usually want the arrears cleared up as quickly as possible.
- Interest rate for arrears and/or default. Lenders will charge a default or penalty interest rate, which is normally charged on the overdue amount that. If the lender proceeds with a Power of Sale, then legal costs are added on top of the penalties. Remember, mortgage payments must stay current and paid when due along with payment for the arrears as per the repayment plan, which includes the penalties.
- When will the lender take action? Generally, after three missed payments. Some lenders may take action sooner. It’s important to talk to the lender and try to work with them.
- What can the homeowner do? The longer it’s left, the more bank fees and legal fees get tacked on, which eats into the equity in the property. A mortgage broker with experience in arrears refinancing has access to many lending solutions.
Yes, there is help. To get the best advice, it’s important to speak with a mortgage broker as soon as problems start. One solution may be to refinance to consolidate debt, including the arrears. However, if the default process is in the final stages, and the home is about to be lost, a second mortgage may be the answer.
Since every situation is unique, an experienced mortgage broker, who can access funds quickly, can be the difference between keeping a home and losing it. TMG The Mortgage Group has access to a wide range of lending solutions and, in many cases, can resolve the situation quickly.
For a fast mortgage solution, call me today.
CMHC CONSUMER NEWSLETTER
Accessible Housing by Design – Designing an Accessible Exterior Space
When it comes to designing a house that is safe, welcoming and accessible to everyone, outdoor spaces are just as important as indoor spaces. All too often, however, the exterior spaces of even the most accessible homes are overlooked.
Successfully creating a universally accessible exterior space starts with assessing both the space itself, as well as how you, your family and your friends will use it. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers the following tips on how to design an accessible and flexible outdoor space that will keep pace with your family’s evolving needs and lifestyle for years to come:
- If you have a very large lawn or garden, you may want to group some of your favourite elements, such as decks, play spaces, and eating and cooking areas, close to each other and to the main access points of your house. This will help make it easier for people who may have stamina limitations to enjoy your yard, and socialize more comfortably with the rest of your family.
- Consider designing a circuit of pathways and seating areas in way that makes it simpler to move about – particularly for people who use mobility devices, have limited sight or who live with dementia. If your garden has multiple levels, consider using a sloped walkway or ramps that are integrated into the overall landscape design.
- Ideally, all patios, terraces and seating areas should be accessible and large enough to allow someone who uses a walker or wheelchair to turn around. As a general rule of thumb, people who use walkers, wheelchairs or scooters need pathways that are at least 1,065 mm (42 inches) wide. Where turning is required, provide an area of at least 1,525 x 1,525 mm (60 x 60 inches) for people who use a walker or wheelchair, or 2,100 x 2,100 mm (83 x 83 inches) for scooters and larger wheelchairs.
- Avoid plants and trees that drop a great deal of debris, as these can pose a safety issue for people with limited mobility. Protruding or hanging objects can also be dangerous, especially for people with low or reduced vision.
- If pruning or trimming chores could pose a challenge, select plant species that won’t be too large for your space, and which require little or no ongoing maintenance.
- To maximize the number of days each year when you can enjoy your yard, consider using trees, porches, gazebos or umbrellas to provide protection from the wind and sun, and make sure stormwater will drain away from your home and any exterior access pathways.
- If you’re designing a deck or patio, use the same safety considerations you’d use for the inside of your home. For example, make sure the stairs have uniform tread heights and depths, and if you have a large vertical rise, consider installing a lift or a series of ramps.
- Last but not least, make sure your outdoor space has sufficient lighting. The right exterior illumination will not only enhance safety and visibility, but it can also be used to create atmosphere, help people find their way and increase the security of your home.
For more information
For a free copy of the “About Your House” fact sheet Exterior Spaces or for information on any of the other guides, fact sheets and check lists in CMHC’s Accessible Housing by Design series, visit our website at www.cmhc.ca. For over 65 years, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada’s national housing agency, and a source of objective, reliable housing information.