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What Is Foreclosure And How Can I Avoid It?

Submitted by Martin Martinez | RSS Feed | Add Comment | Bookmark Me! print

Foreclosure takes place when home owners do not pay their payments to the lender. It really is that simple. The reason for why home owners may not be able to make the payments, however, can be anything but simple.

The worst thing home owners can do when they cannot make their home loan payments is to ignore the problem and to ignore the lender. In many cases, lenders will be more eager to help you through the problem than to foreclose on your home. The truth is most lenders do not want to take your home from you. Foreclosure is a cost to them and it reduces the profits they can realize from a home loan.

It cannot be said enough: If you are unable to make your mortgage payment, do not ignore the problem. The more payments you miss the harder it will be for the lender to work with you. There will come a time (should you ignore the lender for too long) when foreclosure will be the only remedy.

Once you know that you cannot make a payment contact the lender. As mentioned above, most lenders do not want your home. Most lenders have programs available to help you out if you contact them soon enough, but many of these programs are time sensitive and must be triggered before certain cutoff dates arrive.

If you have missed a payment do not ignore the mail that you get from lender. You might be surprised at how many people simply do not open their mail when they know they have missed a payment. Ignoring the mail will not make the situation any better.

In many cases, the first notices you receive from the lender will offer information on payment options and foreclosure prevention options. If you ignore these and do not contact the lender you will begin to get the more demanding mails which may include important notices of pending legal actions. Not opening your mail will not be a legitimate excuse in foreclosure court.

Another important thing to do is to understand your mortgage rights. You should find your loan papers and read them to learn exactly what the contract states, along with timelines. You can also learn more about the foreclosure laws and timeframes in your state. Keep in mind that every state is different so be sure you read the laws for your state.

You can also contact a HUD-approved housing counselor to help you understand your circumstances. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers free or very low cost housing counseling nationwide. These counselors can assist you to better understand the law and your options. They can help you organize your budget and finances and may even be able to represent you in negotiations with your lender if you need this level of assistance. You can find a HUD-approved housing counselor by calling (800) 569-4287 or TTY (800) 877-8339.

There are many options for those who find themselves in financial trouble but it is up to you to take the actions that will help prevent foreclosure on your home. Home owners may be surprised at how many programs are available to help them as they get through this trying period of time, but they should keep in mind that ignoring the problem will only make it worse. One of the best ways to prevent foreclosure is to get to work with the lender as quickly as possible.

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