Foreclosures on the rise and being at a all time high, while jobs and the economy at a all time low, are the ingredients for making a homeowners worst nightmare. It is scary that over 156,000 homeowners have lost their homes to foreclosure this year alone. With the number rising each month, there doesn’t seem to be much of a slow down in the foreclosure rate. If you are worried that foreclosure may effect you and your family, read below for some of our tips and strategies for saving your home.
• You may delay, but time will not. ~Benjamin Franklin
The number one tip I can give everyone is do not delay-If you feel any inclination that you may go into foreclosure, get help immediately. If you or your spouse has lost a job, your mortgage payments are too high, or if you have too much overall debt, you’ll probably have a hard time keeping up. Regardless of what the reasons may be, you need to get help immediately. The sooner the better, don’t put it off until the last month, because it will be too late to do anything. A few months, or even a few days can give you many options that just aren’t available towards the end.
• Contact your lender – In order to stop foreclosure one of the first steps you need to take is contacting the loss mitigation department of your mortgage lender. This will give you some important information; how much you owe, how far behind you are, if you have late payment fees. If you have the means to pay your mortgage and past due amounts, the lender may reinstate your loan, with no further actions needed.
• Know your finances – Before contacting anyone for help you need to have your personal finance knowledge in order. Know how much you make each month vs. how much you spend each month on debts (credit card, utility bills), personal expenses (entertainment, shopping) and necessity expenses (food). Knowing how much extra you have each month, will give you vital information; how much you can put towards past due mortgage payments and if you can keep up with current payments each month. With this knowledge, when you contact your lender you will know what payment options will work best for you.
• Forbearance Agreement – If you cannot pay you past due amount in full ask your lender about forbearance. This agreement would take all of your past due payments and tab them onto the end of your loan. So if you think you can keep up with the current payments, but can’t afford both that and your past due amount, try to negotiate the use of the forbearance agreement with your lender. Even offer to pay half of you past due amount if you can and it helps the lender give you’re the forbearance agreement.
• Selling your home to stop foreclosure – If you find that you won’t be able to keep up with your mortgage payments, the best option may be to sell your home and move into a more affordable place. If you have equity in your home contact a real estate agent and they will be eager to help you because it is easier for them to sell the home when you have equity. If you don’t have equity and find it hard to get a Realtor you may want to try and sell it on your own. Make sure you educate and read up on the steps to selling your home yourself.
Following these tips will hopefully give you some ideas for stopping foreclosure. Remember the most important tip-do not delay. You want to give yourself as much time and as many options as possible.