Without speaking with the lender, it is hard to know what it considers to be standard programs.
The more common ones are:
• Forbearance. During a temporary time, like an illness or a job loss, the lender suspends payments. Interest continues to accrue and your mortgage will be extended for the length of this temporary time. You need to have an almost flawless payment history with the lender and have been a customer of this lender for a certain period of time. Your temporary issue must be documented and you must show that you will be able to pick up paying the mortgage payments on time after that period of time is over. This is the best option that a lender can offer a borrower.
• Loan modification. The terms of the mortgage loan are rewritten. In this case, the past due payments and late fees are rolled into a new mortgage with new terms. This option allows you to catch up on what you owe without having to make double mortgage payments.
• Refinance. If you have significant equity in your home and have an excellent record of making your mortgage payments, the lender may be able to offer to refinance the mortgage. This is usually done when the interest rates are lower for the refinanced mortgage, and this way your monthly mortgage payments would be reduced.
• Pre-foreclosure sale. If you cannot obtain any assistance, the lender may suspend foreclosure proceedings if you put the house up for sale. Again, this depends on the equity you have in the house, the market value of the home, and market conditions.
• Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. As a last resort, the lender may allow you to execute a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. In this case, you give the home to the lender and move out. While this does not save your home, it does not damage your credit record with a foreclosure. As more foreclosures are happening, lenders are backing away from this option. Many lenders have a large number of homes in their inventory that were foreclosed on and are now waiting to be sold.
If you have an FHA-insured mortgage you may qualify for other programs. Some lenders who write a significant amount of FHA loans may let you participate in these.
• Special forbearance. You and the lender agree to either a temporary suspension of payments or a temporary reduction in the amount of the payment for a certain time. As with the standard forbearance, you will need to prove that you will be able to pay the full mortgage payment at the end of this time. Your mortgage will be extended to add the missing payments at the end of the mortgage.
• Mortgage modification. You may be able to obtain a one-time payment from the FHA insurance fund to bring your mortgage current. HUD looks at your payment record and the amount of equity you have in your home. If you are accepted, HUD will have you sign a promissory note for the amount that it is paying to the lender. Your note becomes a lien upon the home and must be paid off when you sell the property.
These are only some of the variety of options that your lender may offer.