While most of us entered 2020 with high hopes for the new year, those dreams and plans were quickly squelched by the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the nation, individuals found themselves simply struggling to survive, with many facing serious financial loss. The housing market is one area where COVID-19 hit the hardest – according to a survey, between the months of April and June, between 24-31% of all Americans missed a mortgage payment. There is now a large percentage of Americans at risk of financial instability. Philadelphia was no exception to the trend with countless residents now facing foreclosure and loss of their homes.
How it Impacted Philadelphia
Already struggling from the past financial recession, Philadelphia has long been known as the metro area with the highest number of foreclosure rates. While things were starting to improve, the COVID-19 shutdowns quickly put the housing industry on a serious decline as homeowners were unable to make their monthly payments. Struggles with unemployment and reduced wages, coupled with fears about health and safety, led many to focus solely on treading water until things got better. During this time, many mortgage and rent payments went unpaid.
What This Means for Philadelphia
When the corona pandemic hit, extra government protections prevented foreclosures; however, these protections are quickly coming to a halt with counties moving into the yellow and green phases. As soon as protections are completely lifted, we can expect to see foreclosures skyrocket and many within the Philadelphia area will be facing hardship trying to find a new home during the pandemic and homelessness.
The government is currently grappling to discover ways to protect homeowners in Philadelphia and across the country. Certain legislature seeks to provide more stimulus money, increase unemployment, and protect those who are facing homelessness. While all these measures are a great start, none of them provide a definite solution in a timely and guaranteed manner. If you are behind on your payments, it is time to take immediate action and start on the path toward securing your home before anyone has time to start the foreclosure process.
What to Do if You Missed a Payment
If you simply missed a handful of payments throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be possible for you to talk to your lender and see if they will work with you through a mortgage modification. A lawyer can help you initiate the process and fight to get you the best terms possible. However, if you have let multiple payments go unpaid, you need to take action immediately, and more comprehensive steps may be necessary. While there are few ways to guarantee your home, filing for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stop any foreclosure proceedings from moving forward and ensure that you get to keep your home. Additionally, filing for bankruptcy will help you either get rid of your debt or create a structured plan that helps you pay it back in a realistic way.
When you started 2020, the idea of being homeless was probably the farthest thing from your mind, but now it is a startling reality to many families in the Philadelphia area. You can work to turn the tide by filing for bankruptcy or taking other financial action with the help of an experienced lawyer. Sadek and Cooper has helped numerous families, just like yours, reduce their monthly debt payments from thousands to hundreds of dollars per month, or even cancel their debt. Contact our offices today to discover how a bankruptcy might help you and discover how to take the first steps! Together we can work to protect your home and make sure that the second half of 2020 is better than the first!