10 Tips to Help Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure
- Keep copies of all loan documents in a safe place.
- Call your lender immediately if you are unable to make a mortgage payment. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes to reinstate a loan.
- Respond immediately to all communication from your mortgage service provider.
- Know your rights. Read your documents and check the foreclosure laws in your state.
- Review foreclosure prevention options. There is abundant information on the Internet and there are consumer advocacy groups who help homeowners at risk of losing their homes.
- Weigh your personal assets. What do you own that can be turned into cash – a second car, a whole life insurance policy? Can you get a second job? Can a family member help?
- Speak with an attorney who specializes in Consumer Protection Law and foreclosures.
- Prioritize your spending. Understand that a housing payment is second only to health care in a monthly housing budget. Assess other optional expenses and eliminate nonessential expenses.
- Beware of foreclosure prevention companies. Companies that charge a fee to negotiate your loan with a lender may be using valuable dollars that are better spent on paying your mortgage.
- Don’t succumb to rescue scams. Do not appoint someone to act on your behalf and become a renter in your own home. Work with reputable attorneys and trustworthy real estate professionals. Never sign a legal document without having it reviewed by YOUR attorney. Beware of persons announcing themselves as "white knight investors." They want your equity. That is their bottom line.
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