Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities

Foreclosure Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. How do I know who my lender is and how can I contact them?
A. Your monthly mortgage statement contains the name of your lender or servicer, their address and phone number. This information is also on your mortgage coupons. (Top)

Q. What is the difference between a lender and a servicer?
A. When you began the process of buying a home, a lender will qualify you for a mortgage. After you close on the home loan, your monthly mortgage payments will be made to a servicer. The Servicer is responsible for collecting your monthly mortgage payments and if you have an escrow account set up, they pay your taxes and homeowners insurance on your behalf. The servicer may or may not be a different company than the original lender. The term lender and servicer are often used interchangeably, but you should always contact whatever company you send your monthly payments. (Top)

Q. What information will the lender ask for when I contact them?
A. Make sure you have your account number, this information is located on your mortgage statement and/or coupon. Explain your situation or hardship, and make sure you have a copy of your current pay stub and/or other income information. A list of regular household expenses would also be good to have on hand. (Top)

Q. What is foreclosure?
A. It is a legal process where a mortgage company or bank takes back your home to satisfy your mortgage loan. When you fail to make your mortgage payments (whether it is your first mortgage, second mortgage, and/or a home equity line of credit) this can result in foreclosure. Foreclosure can also be due to non-payment of real estate property taxes. (Top)

Q. How many payments do I need to miss before I lose my home?
A. After one missed payment on your mortgage, you are in breach of your agreement with your lender / servicer. Although most lenders / servicers do not start foreclosure proceedings after only one missed mortgage payment, late charges apply and over time can add up. If you continue to miss your payments, it will make it harder for you to catch up. Most lenders / servicers will start the foreclosure process after you are three payments behind. (Top)

Q. My lender has started foreclosure proceedings. What should I do?
A. Immediately contact an attorney or the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HOPE Hotline) at 1-888-995-4673 (HOPE). (Top)