Homeowners having a tough time making ends meet need to determine the best strategy for keeping their mortgage payment paid. No matter how tough times get, it is imperative that you do your best not to miss a mortgage payment so that you do not have to worry about how to avoid foreclosure.
However, should you not be able to make a mortgage payment. There are steps you can take to avoid foreclosure:
Don't ignore the situation. The further behind you get on your mortgage loan, the harder it will be to have your mortgage loan reinstated.
Contact your lender as soon as you realize you're not going to be able to make a payment. Generally, the lender does not want to foreclose. The foreclosure process costs them money, and they may not recover enough to pay off the loan. You may have the option to do a workout on your loan with the lender if you begin the process early enough and take the appropriate steps before the foreclosure process is in full swing.
Respond to any letters or notices you receive from your lender. The first few notices will provide you with information on how they can help you avoid foreclosure, but later letters may simply inform you of the legal action they are going to take. Failing to read them will not be an acceptable excuse in court.
Know you state's foreclosure requirements. Learn about your state's foreclosure laws and be certain you understand the timeframes involved.
Read your loan documents so you will know what can happen if you fail to make payments.
Contact a HUD-approved counselor. HUD provides free or very affordable housing counseling across the country. These counselors will inform you of your state's laws and your various options. They can also help you to organize your finances and represent you in negotiations with your lender when you are facing foreclosure.
Prioritize your spending and set a budget. After your healthcare, your home is your first priority. Be certain to review your budget and finances. Look for areas where you can cut spending so that you can ensure you make your mortgage payment. Eliminate any bills that are not necessities, even if it means no satellite, cable or expensive memberships.
Use your assets wisely. If you have any assets that you can sell for cash, you can use that cash to reinstate your mortgage or make a payment. Can anyone in your home bring in extra cash by obtaining a job? Even if these actions do not amount to a significant amount of money, they do show your lender you are trying and that you are willing to make the necessary sacrifices in order to keep your home.
Beware of companies advertising that they prevent foreclosure. These companies typically charge you fees that could be paid towards your mortgage instead. Many of these companies may charge two or three months' worth of mortgage payments for their services that a HUD counselor would provide you for free or at little cost.
Do not fall for foreclosure recovery scams. Many scams claim that if you sign a document allowing them to represent you and act on your behalf that they can save your home from foreclosure. The reality is that many of these companies end up owning your home and you end up paying rent to them.
Questions & Answers: Home Foreclosure
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