There are millions of homeowners facing the possibility of foreclosure. Some meet the numerous requirements to qualify for assistance under the Obama Mortgage Modification Plan. But many others are forced to go through the foreclosure process.
Homeowners have several strategies for avoiding foreclosure at their disposal. But it is essential that they first understand the foreclosure process and the laws governing it. Foreclosure laws vary from state to state.
The process is different for each homeowner, based on factors like state of residence, lender, and mortgage type, among others. Although these different factors can help a homeowner extend the foreclosure deadline by varying degrees, the basic steps apply to everyone. To help you better understand how the foreclosure process works, I have listed the following basic steps:
1. Call your lender as soon as you start having trouble. You might be able to work with them to prevent legal action. Remember, going into foreclosure can negatively affect your credit rating.
2. Once you’ve stopped making mortgage payments, your lender will try to get in touch with you by phone or mail. If they can’t, they will go to court and file a petition to begin foreclosure. HUD recommends answering all mail from your lender right away.
3. You have the option to reply to the petition. How you choose to reply will determine how much time you add to the process. Usually, homeowners send their lenders letters of hardship, detailing why they are unable to pay.
4. You also have the option of scheduling a foreclosure hearing to explain your reasons for not paying. Whether you represent yourself or hire a lawyer, this move can extend the foreclosure process.
Beware of foreclosure scams, such as bait & switch loans. And only use filing for bankruptcy to avoid or stop foreclosure as a last resort.
Often, homeowners can delay foreclosure for more than 3 year, with or without the aid of legal counsel, and so can you. The trick is in knowing how to stall the foreclosure process continuously. There are many different strategies that you can use to fight foreclosure and you can do it yourself once you know how to proceed every step of the way.
Depending on how you handle things with your lender and what strategies you use, you could end up delaying the foreclosure process for anywhere from several months to three years or even more in some instances. It will be up to your ability to use the law in your favor to prolong the fight for a very long time.