Are you in danger of defaulting on payments for your mortgage? If so, you aren’t alone: every year, there are millions of home foreclosures due to missed payments, bankruptcy, and other economical issues. In 2013, there were a grand total of 1.36 million foreclosure filings, including notices of default, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions, according to CNNMoney. Although that figure was a six-year low, the problem has not disappeared entirely.
There are many steps that you can take for avoiding foreclosure on your home. The first step would be to contact a foreclosure attorney to discuss your options. Additionally, there are also several foreclosure assistance programs offered by the federal government. They include assistance for modifying and refinancing your loans to make them more affordable. For individuals in “underwater” mortgages — that is, their homes are worth significantly less than they owe — there are additional government programs for this particular issue, too. There are also programs for unemployed homeowners and those who have FHA-insured homes.
If you’re working toward avoiding foreclosure before it occurs, here are some other steps you can take.
1. If you don’t want to keep your home, you can have it appraised or check online real estate websites for an estimate. In this case, you can sell your home and keep any gains you make. You can also have a short sale of your home for less than the mortgage value and work out remaining payments with your mortgage company. You can also give your lender a “deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure,” meaning that the house will be repossessed by the bank instead of getting a bank foreclosure. These last two options will hurt your credit, however.
2. If you do want to keep your home, examine your monthly expenses (and non-monthly, special expenses, as well). If there are places you can cut back on spending in order to make your payments on time, or get caught up with late payments, do so immediately. If you have an underwater mortgage, be sure to speak with a U.S. Federal Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counselor.
Have more questions about foreclosure? Contact a foreclosure lawyer to discuss your options. You can also leave a comment below for more information on avoiding foreclosure. Continue your research here: www.rkelawgroup.com