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2008-03-26 20:01:00

10 Tips to Help Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure

  1. Keep copies of all loan documents in a safe place.
  2. 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.
  3. Respond immediately to all communication from your mortgage service provider.
  4. Know your rights. Read your documents and check the foreclosure laws in your state.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. Speak with an attorney who specializes in Consumer Protection Law and foreclosures.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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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