Tackling "the mortgage gap" - AmericaNowNews.com

Tackling "the mortgage gap"

A new survey from insurance and financial firm Country Financial finds that 68 percent of homeowners would not be able to make mortgage payments for more than nine months if they lost their jobs.

Of course, the problem with that is that the average unemployment stretch is 10 months or more right now. Plenty of people have been out of work for much longer than that, too. This is called "the mortgage gap."

In the survey, a full third of homeowners said they had just enough money to cover three to six months of mortgage payments.

Twenty-seven percent said they couldn't even cover three months' worth of payments.

Clearly this is not a good thing. So which group are you in? How many months could you cover the house payment before you'd exhaust your savings?

"If you haven't already got one, you need to set up an emergency fund," says Nathan Bachrach. "Set up direct deposit from your paycheck or your checking account into a savings account, and don't touch that money."

Nathan also advises that you shoot for at least six months' worth of living expenses, though more is better.

"And now is the time to think about tapping into the equity of your home - now, while you have a job," he adds. "That means either refinancing, or getting a home equity line of credit that you don't touch unless you absolutely need it. Make sure you shop around for the best rates, too."

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