For the past several years, lenders have been more than generous with granting loans to anyone who could make a down payment. They allowed larger loans than people could afford through trendy interest only loans, and now the honeymoon with these same lenders has ended. Now that the terms of the loan has matured, and it is time to get down to the hard part, many homeowners are finding that they cannot make the payments.
For this reason, we are currently in a foreclosure epidemic. If you have read this far, than chances are, you are feeling the pain of possibly losing your home as well. I will not go as far as to tell you to not worry, because you should be very worried. However, I will tell you there are things you can do to keep your home or at least your credit in check. You can stop a foreclosure.
You can stop a home foreclosure by communicating with your bank. Do not wait until you are two months in arrears to open dialogue with your lender. The first time you think you will not be able to make a payment, call them and be honest about it. Tell them why you are having trouble paying. If it is because of a recent interest rate hike, let them know that you would love to renegotiate. (This must be done while your credit is still good.)
You can stop a home foreclosure by asking the bank to work with you. If you have fallen two months or more behind, there is still hope for you. Contact your lender and ask for reinstatement agreement in which they will wait for a specific date for a lump sum, a forbearance where they will suspend payments for a short time, or a repayment plan where they will allow you to pay your mortgage plus a portion of the past due each month.
You can stop a home foreclosure by prioritizing. Many people make the mistake of putting their credit card payments in front of paying their mortgage. This is a bad idea. By paying the credit card first, whether it is to keep the convenience of the card, or to continue getting into dept, it will not be long before you lose both. When the credit card companies do their periodic check on your credit, if they find your mortgage is seriously in arrears, they may very well cancel your credit card.
You can stop a home foreclosure by selling your home. Sometimes the only option is selling the home. The upside of selling your home in tight times is that you will eliminate a great deal of stress on your family and finances. Of course, you will have to deal with appearances, but trust me, you will not be the only person you know “downsizing”. Of course, with so many houses for sale at the same time, selling may be difficult. You should find a real-estate agent who knows how to negotiate a short sale deal with your bank. They can help you negotiate with the bank to allow you to sell the house for less than is owed to them. This will allow you to stay in the house until it is sold, and allow you to sell it for less. While this may not sound like the best compromise right now, I know of one person in particular who let the mortgage company know they could no longer pay, and with the help of a realtor, negotiated a short sale on the house. The house sold quickly, and they got out of a difficult situation. They also got to stay in the house without paying any mortgage for the few months it took to sell it. In addition, they purchased a new house in only 3 years because their credit was left in tact.
Beware of anyone approaching you to “help” you to avoid foreclosure. There are many foreclosure scams lurking about that will only make you lose your money faster, while giving them the equity in your home.