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Homeowners - Your Foreclosure Options Reviewed

Aug 20, 2008
Are you a homeowner who is facing foreclosure? If so, you may be unsure as to what your options are. Now is the time to find out.

Why?Because you may be surprised how many ways there are to avoid foreclosure. When foreclosure is avoided you can either retain your home, keep your credit in good standing, or do both.

When facing foreclosure, the first step you should take is to approach your bank. It is best if you do this before the issue of foreclosure arises. Once it does, it is still not too late to schedule a meeting with the chief loan officer at your bank. If you can prove that you intend to get your mortgage back in good standing or that your financial troubles are only temporary, your lender may hold off on foreclosure.

Even if your lender is willing to work with you, keeping your home may not be in your best interest. If you are having long-term financial hardships, it may be within your best interest to sell your home before it enters into foreclosure.

When making this decision, you may want to talk to your lender. They may agree to allow you to proceed with a pre-foreclosure sale. In fact, they may hold off on the process of taking your home, giving you ample time to find a new buyer.

When selling your home as a pre-foreclosure, your home can be listed as for sale by owner or through a professional realtor.

Even if you do not consider a pre-foreclosure sale to be an option, you should expect to hear from hopeful buyers. When you are delinquent on your mortgage, especially to the point of foreclosure, this information becomes public knowledge.

Some buyers, namely professional investors, seek out those in trouble. Although having a stranger appear at your door or call offering to buy your home may be rude, it is a decision that you may want to give serious thought to.

Another option that you, as a homeowner, has during foreclosure to hire the services of an attorney. When doing so, see those with specialties in foreclosures or real estate. A lawyer can advise you on what steps to take.

They can help you understand the pros and cons of pre-foreclosure sales. In some states, attorneys can use bankruptcy as a tactic to stop the foreclosure proceeding. Although not a long-term fix, it may buy you more time to make a decision. It is important to note that bankruptcy, by itself has a whole list of pros and cons.

Most states have what are known as redemption period laws. These are designed to protect homeowners. They give you a grace period to reclaim your home. If you can make good on your mortgage payment, the foreclosure proceedings will stop. States that have these laws often enable you to reclaim your property even after it has been sold at a foreclosure auction. This is provided that you act within the allotted time frame.

If you reside in a state where you are not given a grace period or a redemption period, you always have the option of buying your home again. Anyone can place a bid at a foreclosure auction. With that in mind, placing a bid and being the winning bidder are two different things. It often takes a significant amount of cash to reclaim your home.

Your financial lender will also likely attend waiting to pounce. If the bids are not high enough, they will buy your home themselves. This is done to minimize their money lost. Later, your home will be available for sale as a REO (real estate owned) home.
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