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Homeowners - What You Need to Know About Foreclosures

Aug 19, 2008
Are you a homeowner who is facing foreclosure? Even if you aren't facing foreclosure yet, are you suffering from financial difficulties that may result in it?

If so, now is the time to familiarize yourself with the process. Foreclosure can be scary for homeowners, but you can protect yourself by knowing what will happen, what you can do, and what your rights are.

Mortgage lenders, which are often banks, must and will provide you with proper notice. In fact, you will receive multiple written notices and telephone calls. Foreclosure should not come as a surprise to you. Neither should the eviction notice that may later arrive. As soon as you start receiving calls or letters from your financial lender, it is important to take action. As for what action you should take, that leads to another important fact.

Banks want to avoid foreclosure just as much as you do. Unfortunately, many homeowners are actually surprised to learn this. Many times, financial lenders lose money when selling a foreclosed property. For that reason, you should speak directly with your financial lender. When doing so, have this meeting in person and meet with a high-ranking official, such as the chief loan offer or the branch's president.

Since banks want to avoid foreclosure whenever possible, it is important to go into detail about your financial situation. Are you only experiencing temporary problems? For example, did you suffer an injury that will put you out of work for a few months? Were you laid off, but are you actively looking for a job now? If so, your financial lender may be willing to work with you. If you can prove that you have intent to get your mortgage back in good standing, your lender may temporarily accept smaller payments.

As for the foreclosure proceedings themselves, the process will all depend on the state in which you reside. Unfortunately, this is a fact that many facing foreclosure do not know or do not take into consideration. If you intend to seek professional help, from either a housing counselor or an attorney, it is important you choose a professional who is familiar with your state's laws on foreclosure, as they do vary.

For example, in New York, judicial and non-judicial foreclosures are permitted by law. A judicial foreclosure is where the lender must file an official complaint against the borrower, which would be you. This complaint must be approved by the local courts. A this point in time, the borrower may be given one more opportunity to pay the amount in delinquency. If not, the property will be sold.

As for non-judicial foreclosures, financial lenders must have entered a specific clause in the mortgage agreement. This clause states that the borrower, which would be you, authorizes the sale of the property when delinquency occurs on payment. Typically, non-judicial foreclosures are not used often and some states even prohibit them.That is why it is important to know all of your state's foreclosure laws.

When the foreclosure process has started, now is the time that you should start looking for other arrangements.Unless you can come into a large amount of cash and rebuy your home, you best option may be to move.

Although you are not required to leave your home until you are served an eviction notice by the lender or new property owner, it is a process that you should start planning and preparing for. Where do you want to live? If you will rent an apartment, how do you intend to pay for the security deposit? These are questions that you need to have answers to.

As a recap, foreclosure laws vary by state, banks want to avoid foreclosure and multiple notices will be sent. For that reason, foreclosure should never come as a surprise. For more information on foreclosures, contact a HUD (United States Department of Housing and Urban Development) approved counselor, your lender, or an attorney, but do so right away.
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