Homeowners who have trouble making mortgage payments in a timely manner may be subject to seizure and the loss of title of their home. For these often well-intentioned individuals, unforeseen circumstances such as job insecurity or medical issues have them facing the unfathomable–home foreclosure. Regardless of the circumstances, it should and can often be avoided, with a little effort.
If you’re unable to make your mortgage payment, it’s absolutely critical that you call your lender now, in order to stop foreclosure. Ignoring the bills will only make matters worse, increasing the likelihood that you’ll lose your home for sure. Borrowers who seek foreclosure help early are much more likely to work out a solution, no matter how dire their situation. Mortgage companies want to avoid foreclosure as much as you; they’re much more interested in the money they make off your interest, rather than the money they’ll lose on your home foreclosure. Based on your situation, your lender may be able to provide the foreclosure help that you need. Here some helpful tips to avoiding foreclosure.
Problems making your mortgage payment?
Here are a few options for individuals who can’t make their mortgage payments or may have short-term financial problems and want to avoid foreclosure:
A temporary agreement that delays payments for a short period of time. Mortgage lenders willonly allow forbearance if you can prove you’ll eventually acquire funds. Some common examples would be a tax refund or a bonus where you can show future earnings that can bring your mortgage up-to-date.
If you’re behind on your mortgage payments, a reinstatement can take place when you make a lump sum payment by a specified date, bringing your account back to current status. Lenders often combine reinstatement with forbearance.
If you’re behind on your payments, the mortgage company may give you a fixed amount of time to catch up, by combining a portion of your past due amounts with your regular payments, allowing you to get current.
Mortgage Loan Modification
The terms of your loan can be adjusted. Changing the amortization table or lowering your interest rate can make a big difference, reducing your monthly payment amount to something you can afford.
Federal Foreclosure Help
In response to the recent mortgage crisis, the president has announced a refinancing program called FHASecure. This new product offered through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is estimated to help some 240,000 homeowners prevent foreclosure. This is rather notable, as the FHA’s previous policy would not allow for refinancing of borrowers in default. It does, however, come with restrictions; you must meet the following criteria to qualify:
1) You must have a history of on-time mortgage payments and a decent credit history to qualify.
2) Your interest rates must have or will reset between June 2005 and December 2009.
3) You must have 3 percent cash or equity in your home.
4) You must have a sustained history of employment.
5) You must have sufficient income to make your mortgage payments.
The primary purpose of FHASecure is to provide help to the well-meaning borrowers who may have been lured into costly loans featuring teaser rates, and may be facing mortgage foreclosure. You can find more information on the FHASecure plan at http://www.fha.gov.
A few options for individuals dealing with severe financial circumstances or can no longer afford their mortgage payments and want to stop home foreclosure:
A short sale deal between the homeowner and lender to sell the property for less than it’s worth, with the mortgage lender taking the loss.
A pre foreclosure sale is an effective way of stopping foreclosure, allowing a default homeowner to satisfy his mortgage obligation by selling the property in question for an amount less than owed. You may qualify if:
1) The loan is at least 2 months delinquent,
2) You are able to sell your house within 3 to 5 months, based on what your lender agrees
3) A new (lender obtained) appraisal meets HUD value requirements.
Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure
This last resort allows you to “give back” your property to the lender. A Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure is commonly a short sale. This will leave a mark on your credit record, but it will stop foreclosure, which is much more severe.
A non-profit credit counseling agency may be able to help you prevent a real estate foreclosure. Be especially leery of fee-based groups approaching you with bank foreclosure solutions. They’ll often recommend (at a cost) what we’ve covered above, most of which you can do on your own or with the assistance of a HUD-approved counseling agency. You may find a HUD-approved housing counselor online or by calling (800) 569-4287 or TDD (800) 877-8339.
Taking a pro-active approach to home foreclosure avoidance can’t be stressed enough. If you lose your home to foreclosure, the lender may come after you to recover money owed that may not have been recuperated in the property foreclosure sale. Having a house foreclosure on your credit report is detrimental and ranks right up there with avoiding bankruptcy. Remember that as negative as things may seem, your current financial problems are most likely temporary. Avoid foreclosure now so that when you get back on your feet, you won’t be restricted by looming credit issues.