10 Ways to Stop F oreclosure... Don't Lose Your Home
by: Patti Oar
In these days of sub-prime loans and the housing market in such a downturn, man people are in danger of losing their homes. Many lenders issued adjustable loans that re-adjust periodically and many people may not have been aware of how much their payments could go up. Some of these people may now be in danger of foreclosure if they’re unable to keep up with the payment increases.
In California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made a bold move and announced a deal with four mortgage lenders to freeze adjustable interest rates for some of the state’s highest risk borrowers. These agreements are voluntary and include Countrywide Financial, GMAC Mortgage, Littleton Loan Servicing and HomeEq Servicing. These companies make up the loans for more than 25% of California’s subprime mortgage loans. These frozen rates will be available to homeowners who:
1. reside in their property
2. are current in their payments
3. show they cannot afford a payment increase
This deal won’t help the hundreds of homeowners who are already in default or in danger of foreclosure. The following 10 items can help you avoid foreclosure and save your family’s home.
Don’t be in denial about your situation
Don’t ignore letters from your lender
Don’t assume you have no options
Don’t stop making payments
Don’t move out of your home (this could be considered abandonment)
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from loved ones
Don’t be afraid to contact your lender and ask for help
Don’t wait too long to try to sell the home
Don’t be afraid to accept a lower offer than you think it’s worth
Don’t allow your emotions to tie you to this home (it’s just a material thing)
This is a serious issue and you need to remember one very important thing. If you stubbornly hang on to this home out of pride or fear you may damage your credit history and prevent yourself from being able to buy another home. If this happens to you be sure and do something before it’s too late and you lose the home. It’s just a house and you can get another one. You might even be able to get another home sooner than you think, as the prices are at a low point right now.
Explore your options. Be pro-active and contact your lender right away and let them know you want to keep your home. If they don’t hear from you they won’t care about trying to help you. There are options they can help you with such as deed in lieu of foreclosure where you and the bank agree that you give the home back to them. They may even agree to forgive some of the loan. A similar option is a short sale. This is where the mortgage company agrees to settle for less than what you owe them. This can be a way out, but beware that this may have implications down the road and affect your credit when you want to buy your next home.
Late payments can and do affect your credit, but nothing hurts your credit worse than “mortgage lates”. If you possibly can you want to pay your mortgage payments on time and in full. If this becomes impossible for you to do it’s time to do something serious in order to preserve your credit. At some point saving your home may not be the primary concern. Remember, it’s just a house and you can always get another house, but if you damage your credit you may not be able to do that. So make sure you have your priorities in order.