Dated: 09/25/2023

Living in Your Home Without Paying the Mortgage: What You Should Expect

For various reasons, homeowners might face a situation where they cannot or choose not to make their mortgage payments. While it might be tempting to stay put without making payments, there are consequences to consider. Let's delve into what happens when you don't pay your mortgage and how long you can remain in your home.

1. The Grace Period

Most mortgage lenders provide a grace period, typically 15 days, during which you can make your payment without incurring late fees. If you foresee difficulty in making the payment, it's wise to communicate with your lender upfront.

2. Late Fees and Notices

Once you surpass the grace period without payment, expect to be charged a late fee. After 30 days, the loan is considered in default, and you'll likely receive a notice or a call from the lender.

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3. Negative Impact on Credit

One of the immediate consequences of a missed payment is a hit to your credit score. This can affect your future borrowing capability, increasing the interest rates you're offered or even resulting in loan denials.

4. The Possibility of Foreclosure

If the non-payment continues for about 90 days, lenders might initiate the foreclosure process. This isn't immediate eviction, but it's a legal proceeding where the lender can take back the home to recover their money.

5. The Redemption Period

Even after the foreclosure starts, many states have a "redemption period." During this time, homeowners can settle their dues, including additional costs, to halt the foreclosure process and retain their home.

6. Eviction

After the foreclosure is finalized and if you've still not vacated the premises, the new property owner (often the bank) can start eviction proceedings. The timeline varies, but you could have anywhere from a few days to a few weeks before you must leave.

7. Alternatives to Consider

Before reaching the point of foreclosure, consider your alternatives. One option is selling the home. If you owe more on your mortgage than what your home is worth, explore resources on how to sell your house when you still owe money on it. Another option might be mortgage modification or refinancing. It's vital to communicate with your lender or seek guidance from financial experts.

8. The Emotional Toll

Beyond the financial consequences, not paying your mortgage can bring significant stress. The uncertainty of losing one's home, dealing with legal proceedings, and the potential impact on family can be overwhelming. It's essential to consider the emotional and psychological effects and seek support if needed.


Choosing not to pay your mortgage is a significant decision with far-reaching consequences, both financially and emotionally. If you're facing this predicament, consider your options carefully and seek guidance. There are resources and professionals who can help navigate these choppy waters. If you're looking for more insights or assistance, don't hesitate to visit our contact page and fill out our form.

For more information and advice on taking steps to sell your home quickly, avoiding many of the struggles and stress that you are or may be facing, explore The Family Home Investor.