How To Save My Home From Foreclosure

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How To Save My Home From Foreclosure

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A lost job or an unexpectedly large medical bill can leave you facing a homeowner’s worst nightmare: foreclosure. State rules vary on how much time you have before foreclosure. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some great ways to avoid foreclosure.

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Foreclosure is the process by which a lender takes control of your property after you stop making your mortgage payments. If you don’t take immediate action, you could lose your home.

Missing a payment on your home for a few days won’t put you in foreclosure. If you make a payment shortly after the due date, notify your lender or servicer that it is late.

If you still haven’t paid by the end of the grace period (usually 10-15 days), your mortgage lender has sent you a late notice, or you have too many mortgage payments, you need to act fast to get a loan. Get your mortgage back in good standing and avoid foreclosure proceedings.

While you may want to seek legal advice before going down any of these routes, here are some of the best ways to avoid foreclosure:

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At the first sign of financial trouble, contact your lender to alert them to the problem. This gives the lender an opportunity to share potential solutions available to help avoid foreclosure. Plus, getting in touch with the lender right away to resolve the issue can mean you can get back on track with your loan repayments sooner. But if the foreclosure process has already started, there are other strategies to stop it.

If you’re experiencing short-term financial hardship (such as an expensive car repair or medical emergency), your lender may give you some breathing room by agreeing to pay off the missed payments in two installments over the next two months.

Mortgage servicers can permanently adjust the terms of your loan — often by extending the repayment schedule, lowering the interest rate, or rolling over the balance and re-amortizing the new balance — to help keep the loan going. However, a loan modification cannot lower your principal.

Foreclosure involves voluntarily surrendering your home to a creditor to avoid foreclosure proceedings. In some cases, going this route can help you pay off the balance on your mortgage, but it depends on the lender’s rules and the state you live in. Before you get a mortgage, ask your lender: What is the difference between the value of your home and what you still owe on your mortgage, whether they will forgive any deficiency. (If there is a deficiency, the lender may try to collect even after you leave the house.)

When Is It Too Late To Stop Foreclosure?

A short sale is when the lender allows you to sell the home for less than the outstanding loan amount, take the proceeds and forgive the remaining debt. A short sale can help you save some of your equity, but the lender must approve it first. An experienced short sale real estate agent can help you find a buyer and guide you through obtaining the necessary approvals.

With a short refinance, the lender forgives part of your debt and refinances the rest into a new loan. This type of refinance became more common after the mortgage crisis and may no longer be available to most homeowners.

You may not like the high rates and fees of a hard money loan — often a personal loan from a private lender — but it can give you some time to sell your home and avoid foreclosure. If you can help it, it shouldn’t be your first choice.

If you’ve contacted your creditor and done everything you can to avoid foreclosure and it still seems imminent, the last thing you can do is file for bankruptcy. This will negatively affect your credit and limit your ability to apply for a loan, but it can help you out of a financial crisis.

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Specifically, filing for bankruptcy will trigger an order known as an automatic stay. An automatic stay will continue the foreclosure process as long as the bankruptcy remains in effect.

Again, contact your lender as soon as you realize you are struggling to pay your mortgage. Most lenders have a customer service phone number or email to contact them. The sooner your lender knows about your problem, the better they can help you.

Federal law requires mortgage servicers to work with borrowers to help them get back into good standing. Tell your bank or lender that you want to know about “loss mitigation” options, which is the technical term for avoiding foreclosure.

Look for a letter from your lender that describes how to avoid foreclosure, along with instructions and applications for any programs that may apply to you. Your mortgage servicer should also provide a person to contact by phone to answer your questions and give you accurate information about your foreclosure avoidance options. By law, this person must be assigned to you within 45 days of your loan becoming delinquent.

What To Know About Foreclosure Laws

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