Living in the New Bern area has enabled you to establish a comfortable lifestyle for your family. You have a good job, decent income and own a nice home. Though you work hard for everything you have, you might not have enough money set aside to help when a financial emergency strikes.

When you experience an event that causes a drastic drop in income and makes it harder for you to pay your bills, you might start to wonder what you should do about your mortgage. The home is one of the most important expenses you have and often the biggest source of stress for many individuals. If you ever find yourself falling behind on your mortgage and in danger of losing your home, consider the following options.

First and foremost, you should contact your lender to explain your circumstances. The longer you wait, the fewer options you will have. Lenders would rather receive payment and are willing to work with homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgages.

Ask for a forbearance

Depending on your situation and mortgage agreement, you might qualify for a forbearance. To receive a forbearance, you must prove you are experiencing financial hardship and send in supporting documentation. If granted, forbearance allows you to skip making payments for a certain length of time. The missed payments do not disappear. They are added back into the principal balance on the mortgage.

Apply for a loan modification

If your situation is so dire that you cannot benefit from a forbearance, you might qualify to modify your mortgage loan. A loan modification makes your payments lower and more affordable. However, it also extends the length of the loan so you have to make payments for a longer period of time.

File bankruptcy

If the above options are not feasible for your situation and you have exhausted all other resources, you might benefit from bankruptcy. It is important for you to know the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy so you can choose the one that is appropriate for your circumstances.