If you've recently fallen behind on your bills and have been served with an eviction notice from your landlord (or a foreclosure judgment by your mortgage lender), you may be wondering about your next steps. When will you need to vacate your home? Will you be forced to leave your belongings behind? Fortunately, there are a number of funds and services that can assist you with this process without setting you further back financially. Read on to learn more about what you should do when facing a household move on very short notice.
Investigate your financing options
When financial troubles have gotten you into a situation in which you need to quickly relocate, it can be difficult to come up with the funds needed to hire movers or rent moving equipment. However, there may be public funds available to help you with this transition whether you owned or rented.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a number of homelessness prevention measures in place, from grants to fund security and utility deposits to funds for moving costs. To see whether you're eligible or to access these funds, you'll want to contact a HUD-certified housing counseling agency in your area. After providing some financial information, you'll be evaluated to ensure you meet the financial guidelines and then either provided with a lump sum to help pay movers and truck rental fees or have these costs paid directly by the housing agency.
If you're losing your home due to foreclosure, you may also qualify for Hardest Hit Funds (HHF). These funds are administered by the federal government through various state and local housing agencies and can help with relocation costs incurred after your home has been foreclosed and sold at sheriff's sale. These funds may also be able to help you pay any delinquency judgment assessed if the sale price of your home wasn't enough to satisfy the outstanding mortgage, reducing the hit on your credit score and improving your odds of being able to obtain a subsequent rental or mortgage.
Call companies that specialize in rapid moving
When you have only a short period of time to vacate your home, calling around to price-check your options may leave you scrambling for arrangements at the last minute—or worse, being forced to leave furniture or other belongings behind. A better bet is to head straight to moving companies designed for emergency or last-minute moves. These companies are designed for flexibility, allowing you to make arrangements just a few days before your out date, and employ movers who have been trained in the art of quickly packing, loading, and shipping boxes. Hiring rapid or quick-service movers can help you and your family members free up time to scout out new potential rentals or work overtime for extra money. Contact a last-minute moving service like Modern Movers, Inc. to get started.
Look into a storage unit rental
Whether you haven't yet found backup housing or are relocating to a much smaller home than you've vacated, you may be faced with the prospect of giving up much of your furniture, clothing, or other belongings. In many cases, the short-term rental of a storage unit for these items can help give you the space you need to get back on your feet without forcing you to sell or give away many of your prized possessions. If the items you're planning to store won't be damaged by exposure to heat or cold (like clothing, bedding, and papers), you may want to request the rental of a non-climate-controlled unit to save additional money.
Before paying a storage unit rental or deposit fee, you'll want to talk to management or carefully read over your contract to ensure none of the items you're planning to store are prohibited. Many storage units restrict the storage of items with engines (from chainsaws to motorcycles or ATVs), tires, or items that could potentially attract vermin (like live plants or canned or boxed food). Storing any items in violation of the agreement you sign could subject your items to seizure or you to additional storage fees or penalties.