Missing a Mortgage Payment

September 20, 2009

I’ve written before about the dangers of online bill pay, one of the dangers I mention is assuming all your bills are paid automatically.  The advice I gave is to check your statements regularly, even if the payments are automated.

Well, I didn’t take my own advice and I got a call from my mortgage company today asking why I had missed my mortgage payment that had been due at the beginning of the month.  Typically that bill is paid automatically so I had to do some research to see why it wasn’t sent out.

Online Bill Pay Rules

The bill pay company is setup to automatically pay the incoming bills based on a set of criteria that I created.  The rules are different for each bill, if the bill doesn’t meet the criteria then it won’t be paid.

For example, for each bill I set a maximum amount so that it won’t send payment for anything over a specified dollar amount.  Obviously this is to protect our bank balance so that we won’t run into an overdraft in case a company sends us an enormous bill. 

Apparently the mortagage payment amount was higher than it had been in the past so the bill didn’t meet the criteria and wasn’t automatically paid.  I’ve been rather pre-occupied the last several weeks and hadn’t logged into the bill pay account to make sure everything was running smoothly.

Missed Mortgage Payment

I’m glad that the mortgage company called me up to see what was going on with my payment.  I already owe a late fee but I don’t want to have late payments reported on my credit report.  An even worse scenario would have been if the bill had gone unpaid for several months, I don’t know what the consequences of that would have been but I’m glad I didn’t have to find out.

I need to start listening to my own advice and make sure I check my online bill pay account more frequently so I don’t get any more calls about unpaid bills.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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2 Responses to Missing a Mortgage Payment

  • James

    Auto payment facility is good because some time borrowers are forget to pay their loan installment.

  • Colin

    Things like taxes can fluctuate from month to month, especially now that state taxes have shot through the roof. If you use billpay and there is payment amount limit criteria, I recommend leaving plenty of cushion to ensure payments aren’t blocked.

    My car lease payment recently jumped just because of taxes, which can be an unexpected and unwelcome expense.