Foreclosure can be a devastating experience for homeowners; it’s something you want to avoid as much as possible. If you secured a loan to purchase your home, there are several things you can do to avoid foreclosure and protect your home.
Don’t ignore letters from your lender
If you’re behind on payments, call the lender and try to work out a payment plan. Many lenders will work with homeowners to create a plan that allows them to stay in their homes. If you just ignore the letters, your lender may take legal action, and foreclosure may be unavoidable.
Speak with the lender
If you know in advance that you won’t be able to make a payment, contact your lender as soon as possible. They may be willing to work with you to postpone or reduce the amount of the payment. This will help keep the foreclosure off your radar and give you more time to come up with a solution. Remember that lenders rarely prefer foreclosure and would rather work with the homeowner to find a solution.
Have your lender review your mortgage
If you’re struggling to make payments, it may be time to have your mortgage reviewed by your lender. Sometimes, homeowners are unaware of all their options, or they’re not taking advantage of available programs that could lower their monthly payment. Your lender may be able to tell you if you’re eligible for any programs and can help get you back on track.
Understand your mortgage rights
As a homeowner, you have certain rights that protect you during foreclosure. You have the right to receive written notice of foreclosure proceedings, and you’re entitled to a hearing before a judge. You also have the right to stay in your home until the foreclosure is final. Understand your foreclosure defense options, and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself.
In some cases, foreclosure may be unavoidable. If this is the case, speak with your lender about foreclosure alternatives. For instance, you may be able to sell your home through a short sale or deed instead of foreclosure. These options can help you avoid the negative consequences of foreclosure, like damage to your credit score. Whatever you do, don’t wait until it’s too late to take action.