Over the last four years, I’ve received hundreds of notes, emails, calls and text messages from distressed homeowners seeking my help keeping their homes. They want advice. They want an inside connection. They want me to give them a tip, a secret number or a workaround that can help them keep their homes or stay in their homes.

And almost inevitably, they want it on their own terms, which usually include things like vastly reduced principal and/or payment, or to be let off the hook for many months of missed payments.

While I can ramble off the alphabet soup of routes to explore, from HAMP to HAFA to NACA (my favorite), what these homeowners don’t generally want is what I have ultimately to give: the suggestion that making their mortgage payments is the only guaranteed method I know of keeping their homes.

And they really don’t want to hear the stark truth of this suggestion’s corollary: If you can’t, don’t or won’t make your mortgage payments, chances are good that you’ll lose your home. You will lose your home, with some exceptions for those who are able to pull off a loan mod or bail themselves out.

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