Tips for how to stretch your budget if you are out of work:
Apply for unemployment benefits.
Call your mortgage company and negotiate to skip a payment.
If you are seeking to sell your property soon, also tell them that. They will tack the missed payment onto your existing loan if you are accepted. Beware that even a single unannounced missed payment often starts the foreclosure process.
Coming soon: Links to the Oregon Home Rescue Program and a CA mortgage payment assistance program, and any other similar programs that I can find, that will help pay your mortgage payments for up to 12 months if you are unemployed or underemployed. In Oregon, you can also be formerly self employed. CA requires that you are eligible to collect unemployment insurance within the past 60 days.
Here are some of the links to legit State Sponsored web sites for the CA and OR programs. Beware that there are tons of web sites out there that talk about the various state programs, but that may or may not be 100% legit. Proceed with caution if you are searching for a simillar program that may exist in your own state.
California Program: http://www.calhfa.ca.gov/
Oregon Program: http://www.oregonhomeownerhelp.org/
Other useful info for people who are on strike:
This is specifically for people who are in the AFSCME union 2831 in Lane County. Some of you may not be on their Facebook page. The following is useful information on how to cope with bills during the strike.
"Some things you can do to help with your Bills:
1. Student Loans? Ask for a Forbearance/deferment: Tell them you have NO income because you are on strike!
2. Car loan? Ask to "skip a payment". You can usually do it twice a year.
3. Call Eweb/Epud and ask for an Assistance application.
4. Call your Credit Cards and ask to "skip a payment" because you are on strike and have NO income: They usually let you do it once a year. [Additional note: Some credit unions may be more generous and allow you to 'freeze' your account until you are able to resume making payments.]
5 APPLY FOR A HARDSHIP THRU AFSCME!!!"
Other things you can do:
Apply for rental assistance from the State of Oregon through Catholic Community Services.
The State of Oregon will allow seniors and physically disabled people who do not have a reverse mortgage to defer payment of property taxes until the property is sold after they die.
Be careful about notifying your credit card companies that you have no income. They may allow you to skip a payment, but they will also likely cut your credit line to near zero. Or they may jack up your interest rate.
If you need to make credit card payments at the very last minute, DO NOT use the pay by phone feature. I have had credit card companies fail to process the check by phone payments, resulting in late fees and reduced credit lines when after talking to them on the phone I revealed that I had no income. Instead, use online bill pay where you log in to your credit card company's web site and directly debit your bank account electronically. DO NOT rely on online bill pay initiated from your bank, such as Wells Fargo, because at least with Wells Fargo, all that happens is that Wells Fargo sends a check in the mail after debiting your account. If you are making a payment on a Wells Fargo credit card, however, the payment will go through immediately (or the next business day) and you won't be 'late' if the payment is initiated by the date that the payment is due, even if it is a Sunday or holiday. You can also make a payment by presenting your Wells Fargo credit card at any Wells Fargo branch. If all else fails, you can also make a payment on your credit card by going to a check cashing/bill payment place. For a fee of about $4, they will allow you to upload a payment on your credit card. This can take as little as 24 hours to post.
I was going to use this space to disclose my own personal investment strategy that I truly believe is not a ponzi scheme that would allow 300 million people to all each invest only $100 or more to start with and this might not even increase the market cap of this investment vehicle by more than 30%. Large institutional investors would then pump in their money, raising the value of the investment by 50 fold or more. It truly would be a way for wealth to be transferred from the top down, instead of going from the bottom to the top as is too often the case. It could take as little as one year to complete this wealth transfer and then all 300 million people would never again have to worry about how to pay their rent.
Unfortunately, the little lawyer voice inside my head is advising me to behave more like the people who give stock buying advice. These people are prohibited by law from telling people to buy or sell, if they also own a stake in their own investment. Even though the investment I'm thinking of is not yet as strictly regulated, I don't want to risk running afoul of any laws currently on the books that might prohibit me from giving you the same advice that was likely still perfectly legal to give back in the 1920's or so.
The only advice I will give you here is that whatever investment you choose should be researched thoroughly. If people are offering to sell you a newsletter, often costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars, that gives you buying and selling tips, please be sure to pass them up in favor of the many others who send out e-mailed advice on the same topic for free. The people who send out the free e-mails are often paid by the people selling you the investment. Always trade on paper in real time before trading using real money. I have caught one of these people giving good advice, at least at first on one trade, but then when they kept telling people to buy and the investment went South they didn't disclose this fact in their promotion of their free newsletter. They rewrote history to suggest that they had always given the correct buy and sell signals and that their recommended investment had gone up by 500% or more in a short time, neglecting to state that they continued to suggest that people buy even when the investment later crashed and recorded a net loss.
And of course I am not an attorney, so the above page contains only my own personal ramblings and personal opinions. If you need legit legal advice, consult an attorney. In the USA, Legal Shield can give you unlimited consultations for around $20 per month, from a properly licensed attorney.