Foreclosure is one of those worst-case scenarios most of us don’t like to think about. The prospect of losing a home is devastating. It can make you feel physically sick, yet people are faced with this reality every day. If you’re in this pickle, or if you’re worried you might be headed in that direction, stop and take a deep breath. There is help available. Here are the essential steps you can take to avoid foreclosure.
Talk to Your Lender
Many times, people feel like the lender is their biggest enemy when they’re falling behind on their mortgage. In reality, the lender is one of your biggest allies in preventing foreclosure. Simply put, a lender would much rather get paid than have to go through the foreclosure process.
If you’re aware of financial problems, talk to them immediately. They can work with you on modified or temporary payment plans that can help you weather a storm. As the old saying goes, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” Start by taking a shot with your lender.
Get Free Counseling
If the talk with the lender doesn’t go the way you hoped, there are plenty of options left to pursue. You can learn about them in detail when you get free counseling. The federal government sponsors multiple divisions that offer varying degrees of debt- and money-management counseling. For foreclosure, the Making Home Affordable program is completely free. The counseling can help you explore all of your options, and they might include filing for bankruptcy, legally challenging the foreclosure, and renegotiating loan payments.
Don’t Hire a Negotiator
Despite that previous option for preventing foreclosure, you don’t want to hire a professional negotiator. There are plenty of legitimate businesses that offer this service, but the trend is to charge you as much as they save you in the renegotiated loan. It’s possible it could help you stave off foreclosure, but you’re likely to be losing money in the long run.
Much more important is the fact that many foreclosure settlement scams are mixed in with the legit businesses. Trying to identify the scam artists is incredibly difficult, and getting it wrong can cost you your house, your credit, and a lump of cash. It’s not a fun road to travel.
Talk to a Lawyer
Instead of a specialized negotiator, a lawyer can help you explore all of your options. It’s usually better to start with free counseling, but in some cases, legal help is what you’ll ultimately need. Lawyers can get into contract negotiation, and even in some cases of bankruptcy, you might need legal counsel. Most of all, if the best path to preserve your home is a lawsuit, you already know you’ll need legal representation.
Sell the House
There’s a fair amount of time between receiving foreclosure notices and having the house seized. You get chances to try to rectify the situation. The process is so drawn out to make sure you have time to exhaust every possibility. In many cases, selling the house is the best resolution. You can conceivably get enough money from the sale to settle the debt. If you’re lucky and the markets are on your side, you might even have enough left over to get into a new house (but you can’t assume this will be the case). Selling your house can save your credit and get you out of a tough spot. The peace of mind that comes from this rapid relief is hard to beat.
When you’re up against the clock, you don’t always have the freedom to sell your house through traditional means. If you’re facing foreclosure near Stockton and Modesto, you can enlist the services of Frank Buys Houses. The process is easy and fast. Within a matter of days, you can have an offer on your house and start finalizing the sale, and you don’t have to commit to anything until after you’ve seen the offer.