When you pick up a newspaper or turn on the news today, the top stories you will find are foreclosures increasing, economical crisis and bad job market. It is

©Cool1723 - flickr

©Cool1723 – flickr

hard to stay upbeat and positive, when these are on your mind. You might be thinking, how can I avoid these things; if they are happening to my neighbor, they can easily happen to me too. If you stay aware of what is going on and informed it may help you avoid foreclosure.

If you have fallen behind on your house payments, you need to ask yourself some questions. Is your lack of funds permanent or just a temporary setback? If it is temporary, exactly how long before the funds return? Are there other family members that can help with the payments? If so how much and for how long can they contribute.

If you know your loss of income is just a temporary situation and you can provide proof of this, you can then go to your lender and possibly get a grace period called Special Forbearance. This is where your house payment can be temporarily lowered, and you will have the opportunity to avoid foreclosure. In order for you to be approved for a Special Forbearance plan, you must provide details on how you will get caught back up with your mortgage payments. You’ll need proof that you can afford the new payment without slipping further behind.

A second option is to think about applying for a home equity loan, which if approved will also help you avoid foreclosure. A home equity loan is known as a second mortgage, which lets you borrow money by leveraging the equity in your home. With a home equity loan you can borrow up to $100,000, which you can then use to get caught up with your payments. This option will only be available to you if you have lived in your home for several years and made enough of your house payments to have home equity built up. Your credit will also need decent, so this option needs to be taken advantage of before you miss too many payments.

In some cases, you can essentially use a home equity loan to pay your entire first mortgage. Obviously, this will help you avoid foreclosure because you’re essentially refinancing your existing mortgage. You’ll be cashing out the home equity and using it to pay off your earlier mortgage. Shop for a good interest rate and you can even get a lower monthly payment. Before taking this approach, you most be certain that you will stay current with payments; otherwise your situation will not improve at all.

Lastly if your don’t have good credit, usually because of missing several payments, you may not want to go with a home equity loan because it will come with a very high interest rate, making it hard to keep up with the payments. If you have exhausted many of your options to avoid foreclosure on your own, you may want to turn to friends and family for a loan, if you don’t feel comfortable doing this you may want to explore the options of selling your home and moving into a more affordable place. It is not the most ideal situation, but it is better than having a foreclosure on your credit record.

Ultimately, there are many options that may help you keep your home, but it’s important to act quickly and ask for help as quickly as possible. Once you’ve missed your first payment, the time bomb starts ticking, so take action quickly and save your home from foreclosure today!

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