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Avoiding Foreclosure: The Facts You Need To Know To Save Your Home
If you're like many people in the United States, you may be having trouble making your mortgage payments. And as interest rates continue to rise, your payments are going up and up. What can you do to avoid the finality of foreclosure?
It's important to understand how you got into trouble in the first place. Have you had a loss of a job? Is your interest rate climbing in your adjustable rate mortgage? Have property values declined in your neighborhood making it difficult to sell. Once you put your finger on the problem, you need to face it head on. Ignoring the letters and phone calls from your lender won't make the problem go away. In fact, it can make it much worse.
As soon as you realize you have a problem you need to contact your lender. If you're in the position right now of being in trouble, contact your lender immediately. Most banks aren't excited about having to resell your home. They'd rather work with you in most cases to keep your home.
Determine if there's a way for you to increase your income in order to put more money toward your mortgage payments. Can someone work a second job? Can you search for a job that's higher paying?
It's also important to see if you can refinance your mortgage at a fixed interest rate. This will keep your payments the same over the entire life of your mortgage. If you can refinance, you may be able to set up reasonable payments.
Another option may be to rent your home if you can get enough rent to cover the cost of the mortgage. You may also want to consider allowing someone to rent a room to bring in extra income for your home.
If you can't bring in more money and refinancing isn't an option, you need to try to sell your home. As difficult as it may be to let go of it, it's better to sell it than have a foreclosure. If you owe more than your property is worth, you should contact your bank.
Many lenders will allow you to perform a "short sale" that will allow you to sell the house for somewhat less than its value and have the difference forgiven. Many banks allow this because in the long run it's still less costly for them than trying to sell your home.
Finally, if you've exhausted all of the possibilities and you can't find a way to pay your mortgage payments and get out of trouble, you may have to walk away from your home. A foreclosure will be a dark mark on your credit for many years; however you should remember that you're not alone. You simply have to take with you the lessons you've learned about home financing.
There are no guarantees that if you follow everything here, you will successfully keep your home.
But it's 100% certain that by doing NOTHING, you will absolutely lose your home.
Take comfort from each little success you achieve in this whole process - even a phone call or email you accomplish - to help you stay strong and keep going in this fight.
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