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Tips for Preventing Foreclosure

With economy being in turmoil, the number of people having problems with their mortgage is on the rise. The thought of foreclosure is at the top of the list of homeowner’s worries. However there are ways to avoid foreclosure on your house.

  1. Do not ignore the problem - if you know you are having trouble making your payment and/or are receiving letters from your lender you must confront the issue. The further behind you become on your payments the more difficult it will be to modify your loan, so act fast.
  2. Contact your lender – Did you know it costs the bank $50,000 out of pocket to handle the average foreclosure? The lender does not want your house!  They will often be willing to do a loan modification in order to ensure that you are able to stay in your home. Be sure to keep in contact with your lender, refusing to open your mail will not be excused in court.  Check this list of mortgage company phone numbers and call your bank for more information.
  3. Know your rights – Be sure to re-read your loan documents and make sure to educate yourself on foreclosure laws in your state as every state has their own variation on these laws. 
  4. Contact a housing counselor – Try to find a HUD approved counselor. Often a HUD counselor will offer their service for free or at a very low cost. Additionally there are several businesses that can help you with your loan. You must beware of scams; there are plenty of businesses that claim to have the ability to get rid of your debt and mortgage burdens.  Read everything carefully and understand that you should never sign anything you do not understand.
  5. Cut back on any excessive spending - Create a list of priorities such as health care and your mortgage, and take a look at assets you have. For instance, you may want to give up your second car or sell off your life insurance policy. It is important to let your lender know that you are making an effort to pay your mortgage.

The most important step to avoiding foreclosure is to explore all of your options.  Only by confronting the problem head on can you tackle the issue.  Don’t let yourself become a statistic.  Take the steps necessary to avoid foreclosure today.