The guidance below (and in the "How to Avoid Foreclosure"
pamphlet) is applicable to homeowners with FHA Insured loans. While
a good deal of this information may apply to all homeowners in danger
of losing their homes, not all of the foreclosure avoidance tools
mentioned may be available to you if you have a VA or conventional
loan. Additionally, HUD/FHA does not have any Loss Mitigation oversight
over VA or conventional loans. Please contact your lender or a housing
Q: What Happens When I Miss My Mortgage Payments?
Foreclosure may occur. This is the legal means that your lender
can use to repossess (take over) your home. When this happens, you
must move out of your house. If your property is worth less than
the total amount you owe on your mortgage loan, a deficiency judgment
could be pursued. If that happens, you not only lose your home,
you also would owe HUD an additional amount.
Both foreclosures and deficiency judgments could seriously affect
your ability to qualify for credit in the future. So you should
avoid foreclosure if possible.
Q: What Should I Do?
Q: What Are My Alternatives?
- DO NOT IGNORE THE LETTERS FROM YOUR LENDER. If you are having
problems making your payments, call or write to your lender's
Loss Mitigation Department without delay, or contact Lakes Area Home Buyers, Inc. and explain your situation.
Be prepared to provide them with financial information, such as
your monthly income and expenses. Without this information, they
may not be able to help.
- Stay in your home for now. You may not qualify for assistance
if you abandon your property.
- Contact a HUD-approved
counseling agency. Call (800) 569-4287 or TDD (800) 877-8339
for the housing counseling agency nearest you. These agencies
are valuable resources. They frequently have information on services
and programs offered by Government agencies as well as private
and community organizations that could help you. The housing counseling
agency may also offer credit counseling. These services are usually
free of charge.
- If you've determined you can no longer afford your home or you no longer want your home, contact Lakes Area Home Buyers, Inc., and set up an appointment for a free in home consultation. We might be able to provide you with new ideas on how to save a foreclosure from showing up on your credit file.
You may be considered for the following:
Sell via Short Sale Lakes Area Home Buyers can negotiate on your behalf to buy your home at a discount from your lender. They have successfully negotiated dozens of short sales and can buy your home as-is and save a foreclosure from appearing on yoru credit.
Special Forbearance. Your lender may be
able to arrange a repayment plan based on your financial situation
and may even provide for a temporary reduction or suspension of
your payments. You may qualify for this if you have recently experienced
a reduction in income or an increase in living expenses. You must
furnish information to your lender to show that you would be able
to meet the requirements of the new payment plan.
Mortgage Modification. You may be able to refinance
the debt and/or extend the term of your mortgage loan. This may
help you catch up by reducing the monthly payments to a more affordable
level. You may qualify if you have recovered from a financial problem
and can afford the new payment amount.
Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. As a last
resort, you may be able to voluntarily "give back" your property
to the lender. This won't save your house and it is damaging
to your credit rating as it is a voluntary foreclosure. This only benefits the bank, not the borrower.
You may qualify if:
Q: How Do I Know if I Qualify for Any of These Alternatives?
- you are in default and don't qualify for any of the other
- your attempts at selling the house before foreclosure were
- you don't have another FHA mortgage in default.
If you're interested in selling your home, contact Lakes Area Home Buyers, Inc., and they will let you know if your home qualifies.
If you're interested in your other options, your lender will determine if you qualify for any of the alternatives.
A housing counseling agency can also help you determine which, if
any, of these options may meet your needs and also assist you in
interacting with your lender. Call (800) 569-4287 or TDD
Q: Should I Be Aware of Anything Else?
Yes. Beware of scams! Solutions that sound too simple or too good
to be true usually are. If you're selling your home without professional
guidance, beware of buyers who try to rush you through the process.
Be especially alert to the following:
Equity skimming. In this type of scam,
a "buyer" approaches you, offering to get you out of financial trouble
by promising to pay off your mortgage or give you a sum of money
when the property is sold. The "buyer" let's you stay in the home and sells the home back to you on a lease option or contract for deed, often with payments much higher than before. If you can't make your rent payment you get evicted and are out of all of your equity.
Q: Are There Any Precautions I Can Take?
Phony counseling agencies. Some groups calling themselves
"counseling agencies" may approach you and offer to perform certain
services for a fee. These could well be services you could do for
yourself for free, such as negotiating a new payment plan with your
lender, or pursuing a pre-foreclosure sale. If you have any doubt
about paying for such services, call a HUD-approved housing
counseling agency at (800) 569-4287 or TDD (800) 877-8339.
Do this before you pay anyone or sign anything.
Here are several precautions that should help you avoid being "taken"
by a scam artist:
Q: What Are the Main Points I Should Remember?
- Don't sign any papers you don't fully understand.
- Make sure you get all "promises" in writing.
- Check with a lawyer or your mortgage company before entering
into any deal involving your home.
- If you're selling the house yourself to avoid foreclosure, check
to see if there are any complaints against the prospective buyer.
You can contact your state's Attorney General, the State Real
Estate Commission, or the local District Attorney's Consumer Fraud
Unit for this type of information.
- Don't lose your home and damage your credit history.
- Call or write your mortgage lender immediately and be honest
about your financial situation.
- Stay in your home to make sure you qualify for assistance.
- Arrange an appointment with a HUD-approved
housing counselor to explore your options at (800) 569-4287
or TDD (800) 877-8339.
- Cooperate with the counselor or lender trying to help you.
- Explore every alternative to keep your home.
- Beware of scams.
- Do not sign anything you don't understand.
Act now. Delaying can't help. If you do nothing, YOU WILL LOSE
YOUR HOME and your good credit rating. Contact Lakes Area Home Buyers, Inc. today
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