According to RealtyTrac’s website there have been over 2 million foreclosures in 2007. The top three foreclosure states are California, Texas and Florida. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, 1 out of every 200 homes will be foreclosed.
If you are facing foreclosure, put away those credit cards and stop charging. Put yourself on a spending plan immediately. Contact your lender’s litigation or foreclosure department to inform them you are having a financial hardship. Monitor your finances until your other debts are paid off so you don’t get into the same situation in the future. Confirm the agreement with your lender in writing. Be sure to consult a tax advisor to determine rules regarding foreclosure. Don’t be discouraged, there are several ways you can save your home. Here are 6 tips to assist you when facing foreclosure:
1. Short Sale. You can sell your house for less than what you currently owe on your loan. Your home does not have to go into foreclosure, you don’t have to file bankruptcy and the filing process is much faster. The lender saves money without having to file foreclosure proceedings, but does lose money by not getting the full price of the home during the sale. The buyer gets the house at a reduced price.
2. Partial Claim. Your lender may be able to work with you to obtain an interest-free loan from the Housing and Urban Development agency to bring your mortgage current if you qualify. Visit the HUD website or call 800-CALL-FHA for more information.
3. Special Forbearance. A lender can arrange a repayment plan based on your current financial situation or may provide a temporary reduction or suspension of your mortgage payments. You may qualify for this if you’ve recently experienced a reduction in income or an increase in living expenses. You may have to provide proof of your current financial situation.
4. Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. You may be able to voluntarily „give“ your home back to your lender. This may help your chances of getting another mortgage loan in the future.
5. Mortgage Modification. You may be able to refinance the amount owed and extend the term of your mortgage loan for the missed payments. You may qualify if you’ve recovered from a financial hardship and your net income is less than it was before you defaulted on the loan.
6. Pre-Foreclosure Sale. You can sell your property and pay off your mortgage loan to avoid foreclosure and damage to your credit rating. If you know you cannot afford to afford to make the payments you may sell the house yourself before the foreclosure sale date and save some of your equity. Contact a Realtor and tax advisor for rules regarding pre-foreclosure sales.
Ask the lender if the option chosen will be reported on your credit report, if so ask that the option not be reported. When facing foreclosure or any financial crisis the key is to contact your lender immediately to setup a payment plan or discuss other options. Don’t wait for the worst to happen – tackle the issue right away. Lenders are more willing to work with you if you are honest about your situation. Whatever option you choose stick to the terms of your agreement and adjust your spending habits so you don’t get into the same situation in the future.