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Know your options before foreclosure

Being foreclosed on is not a pleasant event, and it can haunt your credit score and make it unbearably difficult or even impossible to get a mortgage loan over the next seven years. To prevent this kind of credit catastrophe, one of your best options to consider is selling your home. In many situations though, you’ll need to do this quickly in order to prevent being foreclosed on. While foreclosure is a process that can take a few months to a year to happen, selling a house can also be a bit of a lengthy process as well, so you should start thinking sooner rather than later, “I need to sell my house fast!” If foreclosure is coming and you know it, read on to minimize the damage to your financial future…

What is foreclosure?

According to the law, signing a mortgage as a buyer means you promise to pay your lender the amount of money you borrowed (over a period of time stipulated in your loan contract). If you renege on that promise, your lender is allowed—by law—to reclaim your home and sell it to recoup its money. The process of a lender repossessing the house due to lack of payment is foreclosure.

How to stop foreclosure

The simplest answer is to make any overdue payments to bring your loan current. That doesn’t mean you have to pay off your entire mortgage, just all the late payments you owe. If you can bring it to that point, the pre-foreclosure process stops, and you return to a state of simply paying your mortgage on a regular basis.

What to do when you can't pay your mortgage

If you’re struggling to make mortgage payments, you need to swallow your fears and call your lender immediately. It may be possible to save your home through a forbearance or loan modification. With a forbearance, a lender agrees to temporarily suspend your payment responsibilities. This is not free money—it’ll be tacked onto the end of your loan—but it could give you a chance to get your finances back on track.

If you’ve had an income change that’s created the hardship, the lender might be willing to review your finances and redraft your mortgage, adding time onto the overall loan in order to lower your monthly payments.

“The most important thing you can do right now is focus all your efforts on assuring your lender that you can and will repay your home loan, so start making payments immediately and actively seek an appointment with a counselor or your lender to discuss your options.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Home Affordable Modification Program may also be an option for you. 

Short Sale

If you don’t foresee ever being able to make your mortgage payments—even with a loan modification—one final option to stop a foreclosure is to ask your lender for permission to hire a real estate agent for a short sale. If your lender agrees, you will then have to sell your home, and the proceeds from the sale will go to the bank to satisfy your loan. You will lose your home, but you will walk away without a foreclosure on your record.

That said, your credit will repair faster on a short sale because you will be paid in full for less than the amount owed, a short sale will leave you without a home, so it’s up to you to determine which option is the lesser of two evils.

Deed-In-Lieu of Foreclosure

This is your last option before foreclosure. To be considered for a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure you can only have one mortgage on your property. Your lender typically requires you to have tried to sell your home recently and it needs to be in good condition. Lenders will not always accept a property back and release you from your debt.

What happens to your credit after foreclosure

You  might wonder how the process will affect your credit, even if you manage to stop the foreclosure process before it’s finalized. It depends how the foreclosure is stopped, Credit scores are based on late payments, among other things. A loan modification and short sale will both stop late payments.

All of these actions are things you can do today. We are not lawyers or attorneys and do not give legal advice. You deserve a professional level of guidance in your situation, and we offer extensive knowledge and access to updated information about avoiding foreclosure.

For your Free confidential consultation and “How to Stop Foreclosure” education kit, please complete our online form or call us today at: 804.404.2657

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