If you have received a foreclosure notice such as a letter from your mortgage lender or court papers such as a Summons and Complaint in Foreclosure you should not ignore these important documents even though you might not be able to resume making your mortgage payments or catch up on missed payments right away.
There are many actions you can take. The most important one is NOT TO PANIC. The second most important thing is to realize that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Because of the large number of foreclosures nationwide as the country struggles out of this recession, lawyers and judges are finding creative ways to keep families from being forced out of their homes. Help is available.
You have options, but you MUST act quickly. Although here in New Jersey a foreclosure may take as long as two years from the date of the first missed payment until the County Sheriff auctions off your house at a sheriff's sale, you must not waste time. Delaying makes it harder for you to help yourself and for others to help you.
It is essential that you talk to your mortgage lender about your circumstances. If your mortgage loan has not yet gone into default due to missing payments, be proactive so you have more options. When you first realize your mortgage payments are more than you can afford, call your lender. If you cannot get someone to speak with, keep after them. You MUST be persistent. The Federal Banking laws require lenders to have specialized staff in foreclosure loss mitigation or loss prevention departments. Keep these important points in mind:
1. LENDERS LOSE MONEY ON EVERY FORECLOSURE. They have an interest in working with you to try to keep from having to bring a foreclosure law suit against you. These are some of the alternatives your lender may recommend:
- Working out a payment schedule you can afford.
- Agreeing to a modification of your existing mortgage or a reduction in the monthly payment, reducing the interest rate, or extending the amount of years to pay off your mortgage.
- Consulting with a reputable consumer credit counseling agency for help in getting your personal financial life under control.
- Speaking with an attorney.
2. THE UNITED STATES TREASURY HAS CREATED A SERIES OF PROGRAMS TO HELP YOU RETAIN YOUR HOME. These include the Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) and many other “work out” foreclosure prevention programs. Here is the link to federal government's website: https://www.hmpadmin.com.
For more information, please see my other posts related to foreclosure.
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