Getting behind on mortgage payments is a dangerous thing because it means you could lose your home. Managing payments and delinquent taxes can be overwhelming. However, there are several ways you can avoid foreclosure.
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1. Deal with the Problem Immediately
Ignoring the issue will not make it go away. In fact, it could lead to a tax lien or seizure of your home. Focus your mindset to tackle the problem head-on. Time is a very important asset here. The sooner you start working on the problem - the more chances you will have to successfully solve it.
If you have already lost too much time, you will have fewer options to stop foreclosure and it will come at a higher price. However, even if it seems to be too late, you still have at least four solutions to avoid foreclosing. You can learn which ones from this in-depth guide How to Stop Foreclosure at the Last Minute, published by the national real estate investing group House Cashin.
2. Contact Your Lender Right Away
Once you realize that you are getting behind in payments, contact your lender. Your lender has no interest in taking your house. In fact, your lender can even suggest a few options to help you keep it. You can ask them about a property tax loan to see if that can help you. If you have delinquent taxes, this can send you into foreclosure.
3. Do not Discard Mortgage-Related Mail
If you’re getting behind in payments, you will receive notices from various companies. Be sure to open all mail related to your home, whether it looks legitimate or not. Failing to do so can result in missing out on saving your home.
However, be cautious when reading the mail. In a pre-foreclosure situation people are vulnerable, so there is a good chance to become a victim of a fraud artist when accepting an offer that looks too attractive to be true.
4. Be Familiar with Your Loan Documents
Carefully review loan documents you receive from your lender. They will contain important information regarding the time you are allowed prior to the foreclosure of your house. It’s also important to be familiar with these laws in your state, since each state has different laws.
5. Review Your Spendings and Income
While it’s a good rule of thumb not to spend more than you have, unexpected situations always arise. Carefully account for each penny you spend, especially if you’re at risk of foreclosure. Research ways to cut spending in each category of your finances so you can pay your mortgage.
While this may not be possible for everyone, it’s always worth a try to avoid foreclosure. Although you may not bring in a large increase of income, any amount will be helpful. Your lender will also notice that you are willing to keep your house at all costs.
6. Consider Your Assets
If you have assets such as life insurance or bonds, you may consider selling them for extra cash. This will help pay your mortgage. This can also help with your loan account. You don’t have to look who to sell each asset to. Instead, you can look for asset liquidation companies that specialize in helping people quickly sell their assets to cover their debts.
7. Seek Financial Counseling
Carefully research a counselor to help you with your options. The U.S. Government often offers free counselor for those in this situation. In some cases, they can even assist you in matters with your lender.
8. Beware Foreclosure Relief Companies
Look out for those companies that want you to pay a fee for their help or offer you a property tax loan. It’s easy to fall prey to these companies when you’re desperately trying to save your home. Instead, concentrate on using your money to pay your loan and seek advice from your lender regarding financial counseling.
The types of mortgage relief scams include: lawyers who convince you that they can cancel the mortgage debt because of errors in your agreement, investors who buy your house and promise that they will let you live in it, and others explained in this article on Mortgage Relief Scams by the experts from the Federal Trade Commission.
9. Stay Faithful
While avoiding foreclosure is hard work, it’s worth it in order to keep your home. Faithfully work your steps and remain in contact with your lender. Be serious about your goal and postpone your less important plans and activities until the problem is resolved. Don’t be afraid to seek advice from trusted sources.
10. The Last Resort—Short Selling Your House
If you have tried everything possible in your situation but couldn’t make it, you have only one option left—selling your house. You don’t really save your house, but it’s still a way to avoid foreclosure.
If your house currently costs less than the amount owed, this type of sale is called a short sale. In many cases a lender can release you from the debt even if you sell your house for less than you owe and give all the proceeds to the lender. But in other situations you will still owe the difference.
To sell your house while going through foreclosure, you should look for a real estate investor. In a foreclosure situation they are the experts who negotiate with mortgage lenders, buy a home with the debt attached and then resell it. This article on selling a house in foreclosure created by the residential real estate investing experts from Houston TX thoroughly explains how investors work and and the pros and cons of a short sale.
11. Know Your Rights in the Event of the Foreclosure
Even after the unfortunate event of the foreclosure, there are still two ways for you to obtain some compensation or even the house. For the two years after the foreclosure you may claim the proceeds from the auction sale (minus the amount of your tax dept).
Your other option is buying the house for a 25-50% premium fee added to the sale price in the first two years after the auction property sale. More detailed overview of these options was provided in the article on your rights as a former property owner at DirectTaxLoan.com - the largest US online platform for property tax experts.
Going through foreclosure of your home is a stressful experience. Of course, it is always better not to get to that point but it is not always possible. Hopefully, the eleven provided tips above will help you save your home.