Military homeowners face unique challenges like deployment (and re-deployment) and permanent change of station (PCS) orders. Many face obstacles selling their homes in a tough market or keeping up with payments on more than one residence. If you find yourself in a similar situation and are struggling to hold on to your home, here are a few tips to help protect you and your family:
Know your options: There are a number of government-initiated assistance programs available to veterans and servicemembers facing foreclosure. Understanding your options and the alternatives to foreclosure and what requirements are needed to qualify for each program is the first step in taking control of your situation. Following are a few financial aid and counseling programs for distressed homeowners that are worth exploring:
Protect what you have: If you're facing foreclosure, you may still be able to keep your home. Here are some suggestions on how to be proactive:
Be wary of scam artists who may try to take advantage of you and your circumstances. You should be on the lookout for people or companies who contact you and require a fee or mortgage payment directly to them before helping you. These people usually refer to themselves as “mortgage consultants” or “foreclosure services” and usually contact homeowners because they learned their home is listed for foreclosure. Here are additional suggestions for how to protect yourself:
Watch out for mortgage scams:
Keep an eye out for mortgage assistance events in your area: Look for free mortgage assistance events in your area. For example, as part of their Military Road to Recovery Tour, CitiMortgage hosts homeowner-support events near military bases around the country for current and former members of the armed forces. At these events, a Homeowner Support Travel Team of mortgage experts and HUD-approved housing counselors hold one-on-one discussions with current and former members of the military in need of assistance with their mortgages. Borrowers do not have to be CitiMortgage customers to attend. For information on upcoming Citi Military Road to Recovery Tour dates, click here.-- Christopher Perkins is the managing director and founder of Citi Military Veterans Network in New York City.
A reader wrote in asking about the division of military retirement in a divorce. I have edited this email to remove personally identifying information and to make it more clear, but the gist is definitely still there: I am a MSG who will be retiring this year with 20 years of service. I was married […]