OPTIONS AND SOLUTIONS
The loss of your home from a foreclosure will hurt your credit, family, and future ability to purchase a home. When you are facing foreclosure, time is of the essence. If you want to save your home, do not ignore notices from your servicer! Take simple steps such as the following:
•Contact your servicer
•Seek out professional counseling services. Call 888-707-1003
•Consider your options carefully
•Educate yourself about foreclosure and current consumer protection laws
First and foremost, if you can keep your mortgage current, do so. But if you find you are unable to make your mortgage payments, you might qualify for a loan workout option. Here are some alternatives to foreclosure that a professional home ownership counselor or your lender may discuss with you.
If your problem is temporary:
• Reinstatement – Your lender is always willing to discuss accepting the total amount owed in a lump sum by a specific date. Forbearance may accompany this option.
• Forbearance – Your lender may allow you to reduce or suspend payments for a short period of time and then agree to another option to bring your loan current. A forbearance option is often combined with a reinstatement when you know you will have enough money to bring the account current at a specific time. If you enter into a forbearance agreement, get it in writing from your lender, make certain you understand the agreement, and be sure you can meet your new financial obligations.
• Repayment plan – You may be able to get an agreement to resume making your regular monthly payments, plus a portion of the past due payments each month until you are caught up.
If it appears that your situation is long-term or will permanently affect your ability to bring your account current:
• Loan modification – If you can make payments on your loan, but don’t have enough money to bring your account current or you can’t afford your current payment, some lenders may be willing to change the terms of your mortgage. For example they may:
•Add the missed payments to the existing loan balance.
•Change the interest rate, including making an adjustable rate into a fixed rate.
•Extend the number of years you have to repay.
•Make a partial claim against your mortgage insurer if you have mortgage insurance.
• Short sale (pre-foreclosure sale) – If you cannot afford your mortgage, selling your property prior to the foreclosure sale may be your best option to avoid a foreclosure and keep your equity. Work with your lender to minimize any loan deficiency balances that may be incurred by you as a result of the short sale.
• Bankruptcy – In some circumstances bankruptcy, particularly filing under Chapter 13, may save your home from foreclosure. To consider this option, consult with a lawyer as soon as possible.
• Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure – Use this as a last resort. Your lender may be willing to accept your property in lieu of foreclosure. Giving your home back to the lender will hurt your credit, but avoids a foreclosure.