Foreclosure is a term many people may have heard of yet are unsure as to what the term means exactly. Foreclosure is something which affects homeowners who have a mortgage or lien on their home and do not own the house outright. There are a few things which homeowners should be aware of with regard to foreclosure in order to prevent this from happening to them.
What Is Foreclosure?
Foreclosure is when a lender who currently holds a mortgage on one’s home can come in and repossess the home due to a number of reasons but mainly for nonpayment of a mortgage. For those individuals whose home is less valuable than their current loan balance, they may also owe a deficiency judgment as a result thereof.
How Do Foreclosures and Deficiency Judgments Affect the Individual?
There are many ways in which foreclosures and/or deficiency judgments can affect an individual. First and foremost, when a home is foreclosed upon that individual loses their living quarters plus any money which they have already paid for the home. When one has a deficiency judgment issued against them they will find that they will owe varying sums of money in order to make up the difference between the value of the home and the outstanding loan on the home. Also, it is important to note that either one of these incidents can affect the credit of an individual and cause a blemish on their credit rating for years to come.
Ways to Prevent Foreclosure
There are a few ways in which homeowners paying mortgages can avoid foreclosure on their beloved home. The first way in which to do so is to pay the mortgage bill on time. This is the primary answer for those who ask how to avoid foreclosure. For those who have difficulty with doing so from time to time, there are other ways to prevent this from occurring.
The homeowner should always address letters from the lender which revolve around late payments. Within these letters the homeowner will find important information that tells the homeowner what to do if they are having trouble making payments. The letter will ultimately include phone numbers and names of contact individuals at the financial institution so that they can discuss their payment issues with a lender representative. It is crucial for the homeowner to speak with the lender and not bury their head in the sand to avoid it. Avoiding a problem such as nonpayment of mortgages will not make it go away and will only make it worse.
Individuals who are having trouble making mortgage payments should also be certain to stay in their homes and not abandon the property in any way. This will only hurt the individual in the long run and make foreclosure even that much more of a possibility.
Lastly, if the home is a HUD home, there are HUD counseling agencies which will aid the homeowner in preventing foreclosure issues from arising. The homeowner should contact HUD authorities to discuss ways in which to keep their home and make payments.
Possible Alternatives to Foreclosure
For those individuals who have trouble making mortgage payments on their home and fear foreclosure, it is important to know about other alternatives which may be recommended besides the dreadful foreclosure. Not all of these alternatives will apply to each and every individual but some may prove to be very handy when all is said and done. The first is called a special forbearance.
The special forbearance is something which may be arranged by the lender whereby the homeowner receives a payment schedule adjustment and may also receive a suspension of payments for a certain period of time. The representative of the lender will discuss options with the homeowner and after reviewing their situation decide if a special forbearance is warranted.
Another alternative to foreclosure is the mortgage modification. A mortgage modification is where the homeowner has the option to extend the loan period or refinance their current loan to get a lower rate and therefore have lower monthly payments. This is a wonderful option for those individuals who do not make enough each month at the moment to currently pay their mortgage.
A partial claim is another alternative for homeowners facing foreclosure to consider. The partial claim is available to those individuals who have HUD loans. With this payment alternative, the Department of Housing and Urban Development would help the homeowner bring their mortgage up to the current balance by paying the money which is overdue. This is a way to help the homeowner get out from under the mounting debt and then try to get them on the right payment schedule.
Some individuals may find that selling their home is the best bet and they can do so by way of a pre-foreclosure sale. This allows the individual to sell their home for an amount less than the total mortgage amount due prior to having it sold via foreclosure sale.
Lastly, one may be able to submit a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Although this still will not prevent the homeowner from losing their house, it will help them in the long run by not having a foreclosure on their credit history.
Foreclosure is a serious matter for homeowners to face. However, it is important to know that there are ways to prevent foreclosure and alternatives to foreclosure do exist should such a thing be necessary in the end.