We bought our house right before the economy tanked and the housing bubble burst. We got a first time home-buyers assistance through a state and FHA program. When we got the mortgage, my husband's business was doing well, there were no kids (no daycare costs), and we could afford it.
Now, our finances are different, very different, and our mortgage payments are getting increasingly hard to make. The agency we got our mortgage through doesn't refinance and doesn't provide the mortgage assistance programs that have been set up for people like us in the past few years. It does revise the terms of the mortgage for people who are struggling but apparently we're not struggling enough because they said they can't do that for us.
Also unfortunately, we experienced a flood shortly after we moved and the house's value went way down. Now our house is appraised at less than what we owe on it, so we can't get a mortgage through another bank because there's no equity in the home and there's no down payment in the bank. We cannot sell, because given what houses have sold for in our neighborhood recently, we wouldn't make what we owe. Renting it would only cover about 2/3 of the payment, and we couldn't afford 1/3 of our mortgage payment, plus another place to live on top of it.
We have been making all our mortgage payments on time, but at great cost. My husband and I don't have heath insurance, other bills are piling up, we eat nothing but rice and lentils (practically), all my socks have holes in them, you get the picture.
If you've made it this far, thanks! I'm looking for ideas about what we can do to lower this payment; maybe there are programs out there I haven't heard of.