When facing foreclosure, one of the most common problems homeowners face is either believing that it is impossible to stop the process, or that, once they hire a company to prove assistance, it is amazingly easy to save a home. While hundreds of borrowers are able to prevent losing their home every day, it is never as easy as many companies make it out to be, and homeowners need to be prepared to put in the necessary amount of work.
Whether it is applying for a refinance loan, or trying to qualify for a mortgage modification, or simply looking for mistakes the bank has made in the original paperwork or with the lawsuit, many of even the most routine procedures during the foreclosure process take time. Understandably, homeowners often feel as if they are running out of time and need to get something done as soon as possible, but few aspects of foreclosure move very quickly. Patience often pays off for borrowers who stick with the system, though.
But the most important task that owners need to be prepared for is to fill out loads and loads of paperwork, and to fill it out as optimistically truthful as they can. If they lied on the original mortgage paperwork in order to qualify for a house that was a little too expensive, now is the time to disclose the true state of their finances when they are applying for a modification or other repayment plan. The mortgage company will want dozens of pages of paperwork for any solution, from refinancing to deed in lieu, and even filing bankruptcy to stop foreclosure will just result in even more forms to be filled out and signed.
Another important point to keep in mind is to meet every single deadline the bank or assistance company imposes on the homeowners. Being turned down for a modification because the paperwork was not turned in on time or the rate locked in for a bailout loan should rarely, if ever, happen to homeowners. Few things are as time sensitive as foreclosure, so borrowers who really wish to save their homes should know exactly where their financial documents are and have easy access to them in case they are needed to evaluate a solution.
Especially for borrowers who are running up against a sheriff sale, time is of the essence, and all of the hard work that could have been done over a few months may have to be completed within a few days or even hours. It is possible to stop a foreclosure auction, but lenders will not agree to a postponement unless there is a reasonable solution on the table and a realistic chance that the method will allow the homeowners to avoid foreclosure completely. But stopping a sheriff sale a week away from the date will take extra work in a collapsed time frame.
Foreclosure is a legal process, which means it is needlessly complicated, but numerous homeowners throughout time have been able to stop the process and hold onto their homes. Current borrowers should face their own foreclosure with realistic expectations and know that much work is involved if they are serious about saving the home. Much of the work is the tireless, thankless dog-work of filling out, signing, and dating numerous forms and worksheets and collecting financial documents, but the process would be similar for buying a new home or filing bankruptcy.
Assistance companies and loss mitigation departments can provide help and solutions, but without direct, timely input by the owners themselves, the chances of preventing the loss of the house are essentially zero. Foreclosure is not impossible to fight back against, but neither is it a tea party: homeowners who want the best solution to the problem need to be willing to put in the work to show any interested parties they deserve a second chance at paying the mortgage. And it will be the borrowers who do the most work that will find a long-term solution, get their payments back on track, budged appropriately, establish a savings plan, and repair their credit.