7 Ways to Prevent Foreclosure

  • By My Tennessee Home Solution
  • 12 Aug, 2022

The impact of foreclosure can be devastating both emotionally and financially. It can destroy your credit rating, making it difficult to get a mortgage, car loan, or even a new job. And, the experience of losing your home can be traumatic. Life just becomes more difficult all the way around.

Foreclosure is a legal process in which a lender attempts to recover the balance of a loan from a borrower who has defaulted on their payments. The foreclosure process can be very lengthy and stressful, and it often ends with the borrower losing their home.

A foreclosure is a legal action mortgage lenders use to take control of a property that is in arrears. For borrowers facing foreclosure, there is often uncertainty about their legal rights and even the long-term consequences of foreclosure. (1)

In fact, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act in 2021, which included $10 billion in funding to help homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This just explains how severe the problem has become in recent years and people are really struggling to keep their homes.

Job loss, illness, or divorce can all lead to financial hardship and make it difficult to keep up with mortgage payments. Sometimes, borrowers take out more mortgages than they can afford, assuming that their income will increase in the future. But that’s only a gamble, and if things don’t go as planned, they may find themselves in over their heads.

If you’re in danger of foreclosure, be proactive and take action now – the sooner you take steps to prevent foreclosure, the better your chances are of saving your home.

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Review Your Loan Documents

Loan documents are the first place you should look if you’re worried about foreclosure. It’s essential to understand the terms of your loan so that you can identify any issues that may put you at risk of defaulting on your payments. Without any prior knowledge of the loan agreement, it would be easy to overlook something that could result in foreclosure.

Loan documents include the mortgage note, which outlines the terms of the loan, as well as the mortgage deed or deed of trust, which secures the loan. The documents list the monthly payment amount, interest rate, and term of the loan. As well as describe the consequences of defaulting on the loan. Each and everything should be reviewed carefully to become aware of the obligations and your rights as a borrower.

Communicate With Your Lender

As soon as you realize that you have trouble making your mortgage payment, reach out to your lender and explain the situation. Many lenders are willing to work with borrowers who are struggling financially. You may be able to modify your loan or restructure your payment plan.

Some lenders allow borrowers to skip a payment or make smaller payments for a certain period of time. This is called forbearance, and it can help you catch up on your payments without falling behind. 

Just remember that you will still owe the missed payments, plus interest when your forbearance period ends. In addition, foreclosure mediation programs are available in some states,  it is a process in which you and the lender meet with a neutral third party to try to work out a solution for the foreclosure problem.

Consider Refinancing

Refinancing enables a person to replace their current loan with a new one. This can be a good option if interest rates have dropped since you got your mortgage or if you need to extend the term of your loan to make payments more manageable. A cash-out refinance allows you to borrow against the equity you’ve built up in your home and receive a lump sum of cash. This can be used to consolidate debt, make home improvements, or cover other expenses. But you still need to qualify for the new loan, and it may not be an option if your credit has deteriorated since you got your original mortgage.

Organize Your Spending and Finances

Get ready for some tough decisions – you need to make sacrifices in other areas of your budget to free up money to keep your home. Start by evaluating your spending and look for ways to cut back. If you have any extra income coming in, put it towards your mortgage payments. Adjusting your current lifestyle is never easy, but in times like these, it is necessary to stay away from foreclosure at all costs.

Take a close look at your overall financial situation and make changes where needed. Your monthly expenses should be strictly limited to only the essentials; for example, gym memberships, entertainment, and unnecessary shopping trips should all be put on hold until you’re in a better financial position. Credit card debt is another serious concern that often leads to several missed mortgage payments – if this is something you’re struggling with, now is the time to get it under control.

Get Help From a Housing Counselor

Housing counselors usually work for non-profit organizations and can offer free or low-cost assistance to homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments. A housing counselor can review your financial situation and help you develop a budget. They could also negotiate with your lender on your behalf and help you apply for government assistance programs.

A housing counselor will give you an unbiased evaluation of your options and help you make the best decision for your situation. Choose a HUD-approved house counseling agency to avoid scammers who rip people off when they’re desperate and vulnerable.

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Deed in lieu of foreclosure

A deed in lieu of foreclosure is when a homeowner turns over the deed to their property to the lender instead of going through the foreclosure process. It’s essentially a voluntary foreclosure and can be a good alternative if you’re not eligible for a loan modification or other type of workout agreement. 

The downside is that it will still damage your credit score (by a range of 50 to 125 points), and you may have to pay taxes on any forgiven debt. However, it’s still less severe than a foreclosure and gives you a chance to start over.

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Short Sale

A short sale occurs when you sell your home for less than the amount you owe on your mortgage and the lender agrees to accept the proceeds as payment in full. This option should only be used as a last resort because it will damage your credit score and may result in a deficiency judgment (this is when the lender sues you for the remaining balance of the loan). 

To avoid this you must prepare all of the documents and have a strong justification as to why a short sale is in the best interest of all parties involved. 

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Final Thoughts

The long-term consequences of foreclosure can leave a mark on your financial well-being for years to come. That’s why it’s so important to take action early and explore all of your options before things get out of hand. We hope this piece has given you better know-how of the foreclosure process and what you can do to prevent it.