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What if you can no longer afford to pay your mortgage?

Region: Ontario Answer # 410

For one reason or another, many people come upon periods of financial difficulty. During this time, many people become unable to make mortgage payments. In this situation, the most important advice is to consult your bank or other financial institution and explain your situation clearly. Often, the bank will be willing to come to some sort of arrangement to accommodate your present needs. For example, the bank may agree to temporarily reduce your regular payments.

If you stop paying your mortgage payments and do not make other arrangements with the bank, the bank will likely begin legal action to take possession of your home. Whatever your problems, it is a good idea to advise your bank and request a temporary solution until you become more financially stable.

If your house is not worth more than your mortgage loan and you cannot make your payments, you may want to consider walking away from the home under a quit claim deed. If your mortgage lender agrees, you may be able to transfer title of the house to the lender in return for a complete release of all your obligations. The lender then becomes the full owner of the property.

If you cannot reach an agreement with your bank and you are unable to make your payments, the lender may begin action to take your property. Before this happens, you should contact a lawyer to determine all of your options.

If you are buying a home and want to know how much of a mortgage you qualify for, use the Scotiabank mortgage calculator .

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