This guide created by the LotRO team walks the very fine line of between being RP and informational. And we think they do a brilliant job. Short, funny, in-character and conveying all the basics to searching for, paying for and losing a house. Yes, you can be foreclosed on if you don't pay the weekly maintenance. But you can pay up to 6 weeks in advance.
The basics are: you need to be at least level 15, you need to be able to pay the weekly maintenance fee, any race can live in any other race's neighborhood and if you don't pay the upkeep, you first lose the house, then a week later you lose all the items from the house that were put in escrow.
In-game housing is fun, but some of this is bordering a little too much on real life!