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As with most debt related woes, if you are unable to make your monthly mortgage payments, it is a good idea to let your lender know and discuss possible options to help you through temporary hardship. Or, make bigger decisions to help you through a long-term inability to meet payment requirements.

If you wait until your lender decides to go ahead and repossess the home, you may still be obligated for any negative equity. Plus, you may be left homeless and taking a major hit to your credit score.

It is this desperation that some companies prey upon. While there are counselors that can assist you in creating a plan and who work for credit counseling agencies and nonprofit housing agencies, these are HUD-approved. Scammers are not. The HUD website should list all approved counselors. But, be wary if you are told by an agency that you are eligible for a refinance program and should begin sending your mortgage payments to them and forego your current mortgage lender. This is likely deception and is definitely illegal. The same thing applies to any approval for a loan modification with a requirement to pay for the modification.

With so much at stake and creditors not easing up, one of the most reliable things you can do is to meet with a Florida attorney with a credible history of helping others in need of debt relief. You can then thoroughly review your finances, your obligations and your needs and wants to determine the best plan of action that could ultimately keep you from foreclosure.