Homeowners and Foreclosure: When to Seek Help

Are you a homeowner who is experiencing financial difficulties?  If so, foreclosure should be a concern of yours.  Unfortunately, many homeowners believe that foreclosure will go away.  Yes, many truly know this will not happen, but some do convince themselves that the best thing is to do nothing.  Do not make this mistake.  To protect your credit and your home, you need to know when and where to seek help.

Today’s economy is hurting many companies, such as those in the auto industry.  For that reason, many employees are finding themselves laid off.  If this happens to you, you need to seek help immediately.  That help should come from your mortgage lender.  This is important because even if you are able to draw unemployment, there is often a waiting period.  Let your lender know that you will be unable to make a full payment for the next month.  Be sure to state that you intend to either find a job or use your unemployment check for your mortgage.  

Another issue that should be discussed with your mortgage lender is injury.  Are you injured and can’t work?  Whether you will receive disability or worker’s compensation, there is a waiting period.  In fact, this waiting period may take up to six weeks or more!  In this time frame, you may miss one or two mortgage payments.  Do not let your mortgage lender get the wrong impression.  If you will be able to return to work in a few months, bring proof.  Have a notice from your doctor, as well as from your employer.  When a mortgage lender can see that you will be returning to work and your previous financial status soon, they should be more willing to work out a temporary payment plan with you.

In addition to speaking with your financial lender, advice can be sought from a real estate agent.  If you are facing long-term financial problems, as opposed to short-term, it may be within your best interest to sell your home before you are faced with foreclosure.  Depending on the value of your home, the realtor you hire, and the amount you owe on your mortgage, this is a sale that you may be able to profit from.  At the very least, get enough money to pay your mortgage in full and relocate.

Once your home is in the stages of foreclosure, a lawyer is usually the only professional who can get you out.  With that said, lawyers are faced with limited options once foreclosure has begun.  They may be able to stop the proceedings by filing for bankruptcy.  Action can be taken if you and your attorney can prove that your mortgage lender discriminated against you or took illegal actions.  Otherwise, it may be time to start looking for a new home.

Speaking of relocating, many homeowners don’t know what to do or where to go.  This is despite the fact that many saw foreclosure coming from a mile away.  What you will want to do is contact the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Their mission is to make sure that all Americans have access to safe and affordable housing.  You can speak to a HUD approved housing counseling who can help you review your options.  

As you can see, you don’t and shouldn’t have to face foreclosure alone.  No matter what stage in the process you are at, there are professionals who can help.

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