The difficult financial stress of an unpaid mortgage calls for
PERSONAL ACTION STEPS
Now is the time to act. As time passes hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in penalties, legal fees and interest can be added to the balance you owe. Be proactive, do no wish or hope the problem will go away. You must do something about it.
Action Step #2–Know you are not alone
Every month more than an additional 200,000 Americans face foreclosure–many in worse situations than yours. Some people will deny the problem until the reality of the sale takes place. Some will find a way out. Many of these only find short-term solutions to the issues. Some however, will resolve the problem permanently. It is up to you to choose what group you want to be in.
The longer you wait, the fewer options are available, but never give up. There are many ways to avoid foreclosure before your home is sold at a foreclosure auction.
Action Step #4–Do what is best for you and your family in the long run.
Despite the emotional strains of a foreclosure, it is important to be objective and find the best possible long–term Action Steps. Bankruptcy (chapter 13) provides the potential of up to a 5–year payment plan. This can work in some situations. In other circumstances, it is better to wipe the slate clean than to hang on and possibly make matters worse.
Action Step #5–Find and contact someone to help
It is important to put pride aside. Contact an established third party that could help you or point you in the direction of someone that can help. Our expertise covers help for most options you will consider.
YOU’VE LIKELY ALREADY LOOKED INTO ACTION STEPS
BUT YOU MAY NEED OTHER ASSISTANCE
As a homeowner you can enter into negotiations with your lender, called loss mitigation, to work out an alternative that is satisfying to both parties. (See a more detailed description under Options.) This can be quite frustrating because lenders are overwhelmed, often leaving a homeowner to talk to a different party with every call. But, it is worth it to exercise perseverance–lenders do not want to foreclose if there is any way to avoid it and they have plenty of motivation to work out something with you if there is any possibility of doing so. There are companies that charge for this service but, unfortunately, they do not guarantee success.
If you have adequate equity, you could take advantage of a traditional lender and refinance the original mortgage or place an additional loan on the house. This alternative, of course, is made much more difficult if your credit score has dropped because of late mortgage payments.
Real Estate Agent
We are not real estate agents but we know some very good ones who will tirelessly market your home. This makes a lot of sense if you have adequate equity in the home. If you decide to sell your house, let your lender know that you have listed the property for sale. It would also be wise to price the house at a discount and not look to get top dollar.
Real Estate Investor
The majority of people we talk to have diligently looked for ways to avoid foreclosure but cannot find something that works. Maybe their payments are just too high on a property that has negative equity or they have no resources to make up the amount required by the lender. Such people may very well be candidates for something called a short sale.