How to Avoid Foreclosure

When it comes not being able to make your mortgage payment and the idea of foreclosure becomes a real concern, consider these tips to avoid losing your home.

  • Don't Pretend the Problem Doesn't Exist. The longer you go without making a payment or not being able to make the full amount, the harder it is to get caught up. The further behind you get, the harder it will be to reinstate your loan and the probability that you will lose your home increases.
  • Contact Your Lender As Soon As You Run Into Trouble. Lenders are there to help you in difficult times. They don't want you to lose your house either and can often work with borrowers to make your payments easier to handle and make other arrangements to help you keep your home.
  • Make Sure to Open and Respond Accordingly to ALL Mail from Your Lender. Lenders want to help you out as much as possible and if they notice you may be near foreclosure they will try to help you. The mail they send you may contain helpful hints and solutions to your problems involving your payments. If you fail to improve your lender may start sending notices of pending legal action. If this happens, the fact that you did not open your mail will not uphold as an excuse for the court.
  • Know Your Mortgage Rights. Make sure you carefully read through your entire collection of loan documents so there will never be any surprises. Make sure you pay attention to the options your lender gives you if you do run into foreclosure. You can also contact your state's Government Housing Office to get the specific foreclosure laws and time frames for your state because they all differ from each other.
  • Make Sure You Understand how to Prevent Foreclosure. By visiting the official FHA government site you can find many resources and information regarding foreclosure prevention.
  • If You Think You are Heading for Foreclosure You can Contact a Non-Profit Housing Counselor. The costs for getting help from a housing counselor in the United States are very low and may even be free. These counselors can help you understand the law and what your options are. They can also help you organize your finances and may help to negotiate with your lender.
  • Make a Budget for Yourself and Prioritize Your Spending. Often times people can spend their money on things they don't really need and then suddenly realize they don't have enough money left to pay for the necessities. By creating a budget you can help yourself avoid this problem. Keeping your house should rank among your top financial concerns. By looking over your expenses you can figure out where to cut costs and what's essential for your budget. It may also be a good idea to avoid using your credit card for many purchases that are unsecured until your mortgage is paid off.
  • Use Your Assets. Assets like another car, jewelry, excessive land or anything else that can be sold for cash can also help reinstate your loan. In addition, if anyone in your household can get another job to bring in more income, even if it doesn't bring in significant amounts, it will help demonstrate to your lender that you are willing to sacrifice to keep your home.
  • Try to Avoid Foreclosure Prevention Companies. Once you fall into possibility of foreclosure many non-profit organizations may start to contact you promising to negotiate with your lender to work out an agreement. These businesses usually charge a heavy fee (usually around 2-3 month's mortgage payment) for information and services you could get for free from your lender or by contacting a housing counselor from HUD as previously mentioned in Step 6. Instead of using more money to pay for these services, you can get it for free and use that money towards your mortgage payments instead.
  • Don't Fall Into the Trap of Foreclosure Recovery Scams. Some firms may claim that they can immediately stop your foreclosure if you sign a document that lets them act on your behalf. Be careful because you might be signing over the title to your property and may become a renter in your own home. Make sure you Never sign a legal document without thoroughly reading through it and making sure you understand it completely; you may even get professional advice from an attorney, HUD approved housing counselor or real estate professional.

As you can see there are many ways to avoid foreclosure and many resources you can use if happen to fall into a situation that may result in a foreclosure.

Return back to the FHA Mortgage home or the FHA Lending Guide.