With COVID-19 still in our midst, people are finding it increasingly difficult to make timely mortgage payments. Despite new HUD policies that prevent foreclosures and evictions from occurring, many homeowners are still struggling to stay financially afloat.

Sure enough, a report by CNBC shows that there were about 3.7 million homeowners availing forbearance programs while delinquent mortgages have reached new highs. These, of course, are attributed to the pandemic’s economic impact, and while layoffs and business closures are expected to ease up, many homes are still at risk of going under. It’s hard, but this doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road. You have a number of options for securing your finances and recovering quickly. Here are a few of them:

Refinance Your Property

With interest rates now at historic lows, homeowners can decide to refinance their properties As long as you have made timely mortgage payments for the last six months, you have a loan-to-value ratio of 80%, and Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac has owned the loan before May 31, 2009, you can qualify under the Home Affordable Refinance Program and secure refinancing for your property.

Proceed With the Short Sale Process

If you are falling behind mortgage payments and you have no other means to settle the amount you still owe, expect to undergo a foreclosure. Then again, this will impact your credit score as well as your capacity to finance a new home in the near future.

Luckily, you can go a different route by undergoing a short sale. This involves re-negotiating the mortgage with your lender who will agree to sell the property at a price lower than its market value. In turn, the lender may forgive your debt and release the property of any liens. This has less of an impact on your credit score and gives you a shorter waiting period before you purchase a new property.

The short sale process involves a great deal of negotiating, so be sure to get sound advice from a realtor with short sale experience. This way, you won’t run into problems as you wait for your lender to approve your decision to undergo a short sale.

File for Bankruptcy

Losing your job is difficult, and you may think about filing for bankruptcy. For this, you have two choices: Chapter 13 in which you are ordered to pay a portion of what you owe to the lender, and Chapter 7 in which all your assets are sold to write off your remaining debt.

However, not all lenders will agree to it, and there’s a good chance they will initiate legal action against you. Depending on where you are, you need a lawyer specializing in adversary proceedings to help you secure your financial situation. If the adversary proceeding is filed in New York, you can reach out to an experienced New York bankruptcy attorney to ease up the process.

As people anxiously wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to end, homeowners can always choose to lessen its impact on their financial situation in the future. After all, we all need to prepare for a brighter future ahead.