To minimize their own risks, banks, credit unions and other lenders are now trying to be gentle with their borrowers at refinance time. They have been offering deals that sound good at first, such as longer terms, lower interests rate, or lower monthly payments.

But there is often a trap. They may require you to sign a long-term mortgage in your home, and ask you wife to sign also, but still keep a 3-year renewal. What happens if you can’t find a buyer? How many sub-lessees can you have? How many shifts can you run to make the payments? Will you lose your home at the end?

Even more dangerous is the “Confession of Judgment” which will be filed if you miss a payment. This may not sound as bad as a mortgage on your home, but it is actually worse. If you miss a payment and they file the “Confession of Judgment” it will become a lien on your home. Once that happens, you will no longer have monthly payments: your home could be sold to pay the judgment. Your earnings could be garnished. Your bank account could be frozen and the money taken. Your joint account with your wife could also be frozen.

If you are faced with a refinance in the near future, you should consult an expert to consider your options before “just signing” what the bank puts in front of you. Learn your options and plan ahead