Post details: Avoiding Home Foreclosure


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Avoiding Home Foreclosure

If you're in danger of falling behind on your mortgage, don't panic or hide your head in the sand! There are ways to avoid foreclosure and avoid adjusting interest rates on your mortgage. In over 50% of foreclosures last year, the homeowner didn't even talk to their lender. That's a big mistake! It's important to know what's ahead and what your options are. Usually, the faster you move, the more choices you'll have about your financial future.

The clock often starts ticking as soon as you've missed a single payment. A lender may not contact you until you've missed a second or third payment, but most will report the first late payment and every subsequent delinquency to the credit bureaus. While a single late payment can affect your credit score, don't stress out! Contact your lender or a foreclosure prevention program. For more information or help, go to Hope Now Alliance or call them toll free at 888-995-4673.

Once you start missing payments on your mortgage, you'll want to be on the look out for a "notice of default" or a "notice of election and demand." These are notices that your lender/bank has filed with the local courthouse that sent you the letter. The notice means that the foreclosure process will start unless you make good on the missing payments. Even so, don't stress have options and you still have time to keep your home!

How quickly the notice is filed depends on the individual lender. Some hold off if you contact them to work out a payment plan or otherwise explain your situation. Others are more aggressive and start the process as soon as possible to try to protect their investment.

"They may do it as early as 90 days, or as late as a year," explains Anthony Hsieh, president of "It really depends on the lender's temperament."

Once you have received a notice, be aware of scam artists contacting you to help you navigate through the overwhelming situation. They will often ask for an upfront fee and they will claim that they will negotiate a loan modification or provide some other option for you. You can talk to your lender directly and do the same thing. You don't need to pay someone else to do it for you. If you don't have the time to go head to head with your lender and/or loan servicer, the next best option is to invest in attorney representation. Let me give you a reputable contact or get a reputable contact from someone you know well (and trust with your life). You want a good attorney who specializes in loan modifications; someone who will scrutinize your loan documentation and work with your lender directly on your behalf.

Lenders today typically offer a variety of solutions for people who have fallen behind on their mortgages. Among them:

* Temporarily reducing or waiving payments (AKA Forbearance).

* Setting up short-term repayment plans to help you make up the deficit.

* Adding the unpaid balance to the principal of your loan and increasing your payments slightly to cover the extra amount.

* Reducing the interest rate, or providing a fixed rate for the life of the loan.

* Reducing the principle amount based on deflated property values.

* If you have a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), for example, you may qualify for an interest-free (and payment-free) loan to get your mortgage current. The money doesn't need to be paid back until you pay off the mortgage or sell the house.

* Consider a "short sale." In this scenario the bank may voluntarily take the house back-and then sell it to the highest bidder. Sometimes, you are then responsible for paying the difference. The bank may not be willing to do a short sale if you are too far upside-down in your home.

Foreclosure costs your lender more than a loan modification and/or short sale. If you can work out a solution with the lender quickly enough, you can contain or even avoid serious damage to your credit. That's among the reasons housing experts typically urge you to call your lender as soon as you know you'll have trouble making a payment.

Be aware, lenders can make it tough to let you talk to the right person. You want to talk to a representative in the "loss mitigation" department. But many lenders don't routinely route borrowers to that department until several payments have been missed. Ask for a loss mitigation representative anyway! Otherwise, you might be dealing with the lender's collections department, which typically offers one option: Pay up now. If you're serious about keeping your home, you may have to really push to get to right people. As Nike would say, Just Do It!

You have to be willing and able to make some payments. If you agree to a lender's "workout" or "loan modification" solution and then fail to make the agreed-upon payments, you'll be in a world of hurt and you may have fewer options available to you the 2nd time around. "More likely," Hsieh said, "the lender will simply accelerate the foreclosure process."

I can't stress enough, when times get tough and you feel that there is no way out, Talk to your lender!

Another helpful website: Freddie Mac

(Information compiled from industry experience & classes, colleague discussions, and MSN Money)

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Passionately Urban

Welcome to my journey. My name is Kirstan Borne and I'm an active community member, a Denver Realtor, RE investor, property manager, appraiser in training and a business owner. I moved from the suburbs to the city of Denver over 12 years ago. I'm passionate about intelligent and prosperous growth of Denver and state of Colorado. Location Innovators, Llc.

Kirstan Denver Realtor

To connect with me, email me at To search for a new home in the Denver metro area, please visit here .

Disclaimer: Regarding information throughout this blog that may appear to be advice - be sure to consult with your own qualified CPA and/or attorney concerning any legal matter.

Connect with me on Facebook Kirstan Marks, Kirstan Marks, Realtor (Location Innovators Llc): Commercial Real Estate Agent in Denver, CO

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