Home foreclosure can be a very traumatic experience for a homeowner and when financial hardship hits even the best people can often find keeping up with the mortgage payment impossible, resulting in the risk of losing a home to foreclosure. Fortunately, there are some options available to people facing foreclosure. If a person is at risk of losing his home, they should contact a foreclosure lawyer ASAP.
A foreclosure lawyer is often able to work with the homeowner and the mortgage company, serving as a go-between to help negotiate terms of the foreclosure and reverse the process whenever possible. The attorney may be able to assist in saving the home. If the home cannot be saved, the attorney can work with the homeowner to determine what option is the best for his situation and may even be able to provide some guidance on ways to minimize damage to credit and finances.
How an Attorney Can Help Save Your Home
Whenever a home faces foreclosure, an attorney is able to slow the process in order to buy time for the homeowner. Once an attorney becomes involved in the situation, the mortgage company’s legal department must communicate with the attorney. This slows down the foreclosure substantially and allows the homeowner the best chance at straightening out his finances.
In addition to slowing down the foreclosure process, an attorney can often negotiate repayment plans with the lender. While a homeowner may be able to discuss refinancing options or deferred payments with the mortgage company, an attorney knows all of the right questions to ask in order to ensure the best chance of negotiation. A mortgage company may also be somewhat more willing to listen to an attorney than to a person in financial trouble.
Some of the things a mortgage company can offer are debt forgiveness for missed payments, a refinanced loan on the balance of the current loan, an amortization or an extended payment plan. The sooner after a missed payment, the better. In some cases, a missed payment can begin the foreclosure process after just 30 days (however that is highly unlikely in today’s real estate market). The earlier a homeowner speaks with an attorney the better chance they have of finding an affordable solution. Of course, if you wait too long maybe an attorney can’t even help.
What if the Attorney Can’t Save the Home?
Even if it’s impossible to save the home, there are some options that can help the homeowner get out of the situation with the least amount of financial damage. Selling the home can relieve the homeowner from debt and may help to salvage his credit. An experienced attorney will be able to advise the homeowner on the best option for this.
For example, if the home cannot or will not sell quickly on the market, the homeowner may need to sell the house with a short sale. This is a sale where the home is sold for less than it’s worth, usually less than the remaining balance on the mortgage.
Although this leads to the home selling quickly, the lender may not be willing to do this. The mortgage company may opt out of a short sale if the home loan carries a high balance, for example. If the homeowner does do this, his credit will be affected; the damage to his credit may or may not be reduced over the effects of a foreclosure.
Another option available for a homeowner is to deed the property back to the mortgage company. This will usually forgive all existing debts, but it may not be any better for the borrower’s credit than a foreclosure. The family may also need to vacate the home sooner than if the house had been foreclosed on.
Hiring an experienced attorney is always a good idea when dealing with a foreclosure. He can help the homeowner decide what the best course of action would be to relieve the debts without causing unnecessary damage to an individual’s credit. In some situations, the attorney can help to save the home.
The best way to prevent a foreclosed home is to budget carefully and always have enough money set aside to pay for the housing costs. Whenever an emergency situation does happen, the homeowner has the best chances of saving the home if he acts quickly. By maintaining open lines of communication with the mortgage company any time you experience a financial hardship, you can ensure your best chances of keeping your home. When this is impossible, an attorney can help to stop the foreclosure whenever possible.