September 10, 2020
Are you one of the millions of homeowners who are now facing foreclosure? Unfortunately, the fact that you are not alone is not comforting. What may be comforting is the professional assistance that is available to you. In fact, many homeowners facing foreclosure are surprised to see what their options are. Many are also surprised to learn that help is even out there for them, but it is.
If you are facing foreclosure, the first thing you need to do is sit down and look at the situation. How far behind are you on your mortgage? Is there anyway that you can make an immediate payment? Chances are you don’t have the money just laying around or else you would have used it already. What you can however do is rely on the help of close friends and family members. If you owe a small amount, such as around $1,000, can you borrow the money and repay it in small increments?
Making timely payments on your mortgage is one of the best ways to stop foreclosure in its tracks, but that may not be an option for you. What you will want to refrain from doing is automatically tossing in the towel. Preparing to move is a step that should only be used as a last resort. First, talk to your bank. When doing so, be sure to make an appointment in person. Yes, it may be embarrassing to show your face at the bank when you owe money, but it is a step that you must take. Speak with the loan officer or even the bank president. Determine what they are willing to accept to keep you in your home. See if alternative payment arrangements can be made.
If you do not find success by speaking with your mortgage holder, your first step should involve contacting the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The purpose of HUD is to increase home ownership. They accomplish this goal by fighting discrimination against homeowners and by working to keep housing affordable. HUD is often considered the starting point for seeking help or avoiding foreclosure altogether. They will point you in the right direction.
As for which direction you will be pointed in, it depends. For starters, the state in which you reside in may have an impact on the professional assistance received. Each state has trained housing counselors that are knowledgeable on the laws, rules, and restrictions concerning foreclosure in their assigned state. Foreclosure counseling is usually offered for an affordable fee or free of charge. Due to the high rate of foreclosure scams, it is recommended that you only speak with a HUD approved housing counselor.
There is also special assistance for veterans. This includes active service members. The VA Loan Guaranty Program is designed to help eligible men and women buy homes. However, they are occasionally known to provide assistance to those facing foreclosure.
There are also times when legal representation or legal advice is recommended. Have you made payments that put your mortgage in good standing, but are still facing foreclosure? Are you not a homeowner, but a renter who is being threatened with eviction? If so, it is imperative that you seek legal advised. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) can connect you with affordable or pro bono lawyers in your area, namely those with a specialty in housing or foreclosures.
There is also the option of filing a complaint with your state’s Department of Consumer Affairs. This should be done if you feel as if you are being scammed or given the runaround. Do you suspect that your mortgage holder isn’t as reliable and dependable as they look? Have you fallen for a foreclosure scam? If so, file a complaint.
As you can see, there are numerous places that you can turn to seek professional foreclosure help and assistance. As a reminder, the best way to get started is with HUD.