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What can a Foreclosure Counselor do for me?

Your home is one of the most important investments you'll ever make. But it's much more than just an "investment" to most of us. If you're finding it difficult to keep up with your mortgage payments, for any reason, it's important that you act fast. Whether you've experienced a reduction in income, a medical emergency, an increase in your interest rate due to a variable rate mortgage, or if your interest rate is fixed but is just too high to manage, a Foreclosure Intervention Counselor may be able to help you reduce payments and avoid foreclosure.

What exactly is a Foreclosure?

In the simplest of terms, a foreclosure is an action taken by a mortgage lender to take posession of a property when the homeowner has defaulted on the mortgage payments. The laws governing foreclosures vary from state to state, so if you find yourself falling behind on your mortgage, or foresee a problem with making your payments in the future, the faster you act, the better chance you have to save your home.

Foreclosures are reported on the homeowner's credit report for up to 7 years, so avoiding a foreclosure filing is undoubtedly in the homeowner's best interest, even if they don't want to keep the home. There are many options available for homeowners who don't want to keep the home, or simply can't afford to. Options such as short sales or deeds-in-lieu can help the homeowner get out from under the home without having the situation reported as a foreclosure on their credit report.

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However, in our experience, most homeowners do want to keep their homes, but have had some kind of problem or circumstance that has made it difficult for them to keep up with their mortgage payments. In fact, there are a great many reasons why people find themselves threatened with foreclosure. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • Job loss or reduced income at work
  • Illness or death
  • Divorce
  • Unexpected maintenance expenses
  • Inability to properly budget income
  • Inability to control spending
  • Medical expenses
  • Sub-prime mortgages/variable interest rates

When someone realizes that they are in danger of foreclosure, the earlier they act, the better chance they’ll have of avoiding it. If you’re behind on your payments, or even if you foresee a problem with making payments in the future, it’s vital that you communicate with your lender as soon as possible. This is very important, since it’s usually easier to make a payment arrangement than it is to reverse an active foreclosure. Plus, many lenders, as well as federal and state governments, have hardship provisions for homeowners in financial distress. In the end, it almost always costs the lender more to foreclose on your home than it would to make an arrangement with you and help you to avoid it.

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