Thursday, December 04, 2008

10 Tips to Avoid Foreclosure

As everyone knows foreclosure rates are up all across the US. Each month more than 250 families are foreclosed on. There is help, but most families are not acting fast enough. It is imperative that you ask for help as soon as you see trouble. These tips are provided to educate homeowners who are facing foreclosure.

Should you find yourself getting behind on your mortgage payment ACT NOW

1. Don't Ignore The Problem The further you fall behind the tougher it will become to reinstate your loan and the higher the chance of losing your home.

2. Contact Your Bank/Lender As soon as you realize you have a problem. The bank/lender does not want your house. They have options to help borrowers through tough times.

3. Open And Respond To All Mail From Your Lender Normally, the first notices contain good information about foreclosure prevention options to help get you through a tough financial period. later mail may include information about impending legal actions. Failure to open your mail is not an acceptable excuse in foreclosure court.

4. Know Your Mortgage Rights Locate your mortgage documents and read them so you know what your lender can do if you can't make your mortgage payments. Learn about foreclosure laws and time frames in your state (as every state is different) by contacting the State Government Housing Office.

5. Understand Foreclosure Prevention Options Valuable information about foreclosure (also called loss mitigation) can be found on the Internet at

6. Contact A Non Profit Housing Counselor The Us Department of Housing Urban Development funds free or very low cost housing counselors nationwide. Housing counselors can help you understand the law and your options, organize your finances and represent you in negotiations with your lender if you need assistance.

7. Prioritize Your Spending After health care keeping your home should be your main priority. Review your spending and see what you can cut spending to make your mortgage payment. Look for optional expenses, like cable, health club memberships, entertainment you can eliminate. Delay payments on unsecured debt such as credit cards until you have your mortgage paid.

8. Use Your Assets Do you have a second car? Whole Life insurance with cash value? Items you can sell to help reinstate your loan. Can a member of the household get a second job? Even if these efforts don't significantly increase your available cash or your income, they demonstrate to your lender that you are willing to make sacrifices in order to keep your home.

9. Avoid Foreclosure Prevention Companies for-profit companies will contact you promising to negotiate with your lender a plan to work out your loan. While these may be legitimate business' they will charge you a hefty fee (up to 3 months of your monthly mortgage) for providing information and services your lender or a HUD approved housing counselor will provide for free if you contact them. You don't need to pay money for help- use that money towards your mortgage instead.

10. Don't Lose Your Home To A Foreclosure Recovery Scandal If any firm claims they can stop foreclosure immediately if you sign a document appointing them to act on your behalf, you could be signing your home over to them and becoming a renter in your own home. Never sign a legal document without reading it or understanding it. Always get professional legal advice from an attorney, a HUD approved housing counselor or a trusted real estate professional.

To find out more about HUD approved housing agencies and their services go to or call toll free 1 800 569-4287 weekdays between 9 AM and 5 PM Eastern Standard Time. You can receive the three closest housing counselors nearest you.

Good Luck. This information provided by The H Team a professional team of Realtors serving the St. Louis area. Experienced Loss Mitigation and Short Sale specialists.

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