Foreclosure is one of the most frightening things you can face as a homeowner. Not only are there immediate ramifications, like wondering where you will live, there are also long-term consequences like damaged credit. Luckily, there are several things you can do to prevent foreclosure. These solutions might not end all of your financial problems, but they will at least ease some of the burden brought on by the threat of foreclosure.
If you are facing foreclosure, consider the following options:
Short sale is an option for people who are “underwater” on their mortgage. This means the value of their home is less than their mortgage. A short sale allows you to sell your home for market value, rather than the amount of the mortgage, and then negotiate with the lender to write off the remaining debt. The process has a negative effect on your credit, but not as much as a foreclosure. When short selling a home caution should be exercised because the seller may end up with a federal tax liability.
Modifying your current mortgage might be an option. By changing the terms of your loan, you make it possible to afford your mortgage payments. This is something mortgage lenders are often willing to do because it means they continue to get money from you. It can be a complicated process, though, so make sure you consult an attorney who understands loan modification before beginning the process.
Refinance Your Existing Loan
Refinancing your loan allows you to lower the interest rate on your existing mortgage. In some cases this costs you more in the long run, but it reduces what you pay each month. It is important you work closely with someone who understands loan modification, as banks sometimes make offers they are unwilling to follow through on and you are left with a lot of wasted time and the threat of foreclosure still looming over your head.
This is a little like starting your loan over. The amount of missed payments is added to the loan and a new loan is created for a new time period. So if you are three months behind, you will extend your total loan (and interest) by three months. More information about re-amortizing or refinancing can be found here.
Finally, you have the option of stopping foreclosure efforts through bankruptcy. This is usually a tool used by those who are facing financial problems that extend beyond their mortgage, but it can be helpful for allowing you to remain in your home.
Before you choose any of these options, it is important to speak to an attorney who understands foreclosure and can help you determine which route is best for you. If you have questions about foreclosure or the tools you can use to stop the proceedings, we can help. Contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 to discuss your financial situation and determine your next best step.