So you fell behind on your mortgage payments. For whatever reason (health, income, Covid19, accident, natural disaster, etc.). You were never able to catch up on the payments. soon 3 months became 6. 9 months became a year now soon 2. The lender was not bothering you because of the Pandemic caused federal moratorium on foreclosures, evictions, and pretty much all debt recovery. As 2022 approaches, each creditor, bank, mortgage company, foreclosure attorney and collection agent has began calling your phones. Either “AGAIN”, because you were behind on payments before the world shut down last March. OR, this is the first time you have been in Foreclosure or Default . Either way if you have received notice that your lender/mortgage company has taken legal action to foreclose. Need Help with Foreclosure? YOU NEED TO TAKE ACTION NOW! Here are the first 5 actions you must take to protect your home and family.:
#1. GET ORGANIZED. GET ALL DOCUMENTS READY
It’s the FIRST thing you do. And will benefit you tremendously going forward, and make you much more organized. Being organized will mean less difficulty going forward. Gather all of the paperwork related to your mortgage or mortgages (if you have more than one loan or other homes), delinquency notices, foreclosure notices, court notices. Anything and everything that has to do with your properties and debts. All Income related documents. Paystubs. for everyone involved on the house and mortgage. Go back 2 months with paystubs, and start collecting them religiously going forward. All retirement or fixed income. Income for anyone living in the home and contributing. kids, relatives, friends renting rooms. Utility bills. All of them. past due notices for utility bills if any. Property tax and homeowners insurance documents. All of them for now, going back, and going forward with coverages. All income tax documents for this year and the prior. W2s and/or W9s for all involved. These documents, plus more will be required as you begin to navigate your way out of foreclosure. First organize all the required documents.
Once you have ALL of your documents organized, do a full audit of your entire situation. based on the documentation in front of you. First review the most recent mortgage statement, or notice you received. What is the total past due balance? how many months are you behind? is the loan in default? (you should have received a formal notice of default). Default meaning you fell behind so many months the lender has/did notify you that you could no longer make single month payments and had to cure the past due amount. Is your home in foreclosure? if so, what is the name/identify of the foreclosure law firm representing the bank’s side? Have you been served legal foreclosure documents or forms? Is there a sales date on your home?
#2. Have an Honest talk. Meeting of Minds with your Family
During Dinner, after dinner, maybe over some coffee or tea, or maybe just a normal family talk, discuss the situation with the fellow decision makers in your family. Maybe even the entire family, as long as they are old enough or mature enough to understand. Your home is the most important asset you own. it is your residence, your sanctuary, and your castle. With all the notices, letters, posts on the door, people coming taking photos, pubic notices in the newspaper, the uncertain next few months, nosy realtors and neighbors, you don’t want confusion and panic. You NEVER want panic. instead you will discuss with your family the plan and strategy going forward to fix the situation. The past two years have been tough on everyone. Being behind on payments and/or in foreclosure is not shameful or embarrassing. Not at all. Plus this is your family, they will love and appreciate your honesty. Teamwork is what will be needed to rebound from this difficult situation.
Discuss the delinquency. Discuss why everyone has been working to organize all of the required documents mentioned in Step #1. Explain that going forward, everyone will need to be mindful and sharper about documents received by mail, special delivery, or posted on door or mailbox. No-one has the right to walk on your property while you still own it, thus tell your family members to tell anyone that breaches this rule to get off your property and that you have taken legal action to resolve the matter. Make sure to remind them to be polite and not combative or aggressive when doing so. Do not add any unnecessary issues to the already stressful situation.
Have a meeting of minds with the income earners in the family.
#3. Calculate: can you truly afford this home and the future mortgage payments?
To have any chance of stopping the foreclosure and resolving the past due, the family will have to show they earn enough income every month to afford the home. Not just make a reasonable mortgage payment in the future, but also afford all of your households monthly bills.
Will the income you take home after taxes be truly enough? If yes, than you can discuss the steps to keep the home. Create a real family Monthly Budget. No spending that is absolutely not necessary. The entire home, all of the living areas, everyone’s shelter will be foreclosed and taken away if the family’s budget does not greatly improve.
Everyone in the family needs to understand this, and agree to cooperate. That anyone that is old enough to be employed, has the physical and mental ability to work, Must get a job as soon as possible.
#4. Get HELP!
At this point you have gathered all of the documents possible. You have held a meeting of minds with your family so everyone is on the same page. or Maybe it’s just you. You needed this sit down, chance to think clearly, and/or pray alone. Deciding the best plan of action. Now is when you need to put your ego aside and find Professional, Licensed help. Being entangled in the Legal Foreclosure process is stressful and complicated (not just legally but also with the documents needed, and many forms required). The day to day mental grind and emotional patience needed is a severe burden. If you want to have any chance of keeping your home, and keeping your sanity and job at the same time, GET HELP! Find honorable and legitimate professionals in the Foreclosure Prevention profession to help you. Get licensed help so that you can rest assured they have the experience and knowledge to protect your family from foreclosure.
Roosevelt Law Center takes pride in having protected Thousands of Families from Foreclosure in the decades of service to homeowners. We hope this article as hit home for you, and given you some important notes to consider. To learn more about the Foreclosure prevention services our firm provides, visit our Services terminal. For more information about our law firm and over three decades of service, visit our Info Page.
The anxiety and stress you are feeling is real, and we understand how difficult it must be. We understand and have absolute empathy for you because we have been helping homeowners with foreclosure stress for decades. We have protected thousands, and their stories, videos, and reviews are a must read & watch on our Reputation Page.
If you decide that you cannot afford your home. Or you should sell with the value of your home at its peak and get out of a tricky situation….
Kudos to you and your family for having realistic and honest expectations. Not every homeowner should or needs to keep their home going into 2022.
Property values are at peak highs, ALL TIME HIGHS! Unlike the last economic and real estate crash in 2008, homes these days have Equity. Lots of it. Thus, Lenders and their Servicing companies are less motivated to offer “loan modifications” or “loss mitigation” offers. They can simply demand the homeowner sell the home. Their plausible argument will be “you can’t afford this home? sell it, go rent somewhere else for less”. Remember, homeownership is not a Right. It is a privilege!
Thus some families may decide that their income and monthly budget will not be strong enough to sustain the mortgage payments. Selling the home at the current peak market, would most likely pay off the entire mortgage, the past due many payments, and possibly leave some cash out to take to the next home. Which will most likely be a rental. For some families, this is not a bad legal solution. However you need to ensure the delay of legal foreclosure and negotiations of safe sale is handled by a Real Estate Specific Law Firm. You never want to allow a normal Real Estate agent to handle the sale of your property when it is in Active Foreclosure. The lender and their foreclosure attorneys will denounce your “Agent” at the start of the process and treat you like every other homeowner in foreclosure.
Foreclosure is a LEGAL process. Whether you intend on keeping your home, or selling it in the safest smartest method.
If your home does not have any equity and you are upside down:
You can still manage a safe and smart conclusion. Your Legal representatives can negotiate a Deed in Liu Foreclosure.
A deed-in-lieu of foreclosure is an arrangement where the homeowner voluntarily turns over the ownership of the home to the lender. This legal process will avoid the completion of the foreclosure process. A deed-in-lieu of foreclosure may help you avoid being personally liable for any amount remaining on the mortgage. This is KEY! depending on how aggressive and dedicated your legal representatives are, you may even receive cash in return for your cooperation. Cooperation for what? you may ask. Cooperation and coordination in not making the legal foreclosure process long and arduous.
Also Important. You need to ensure your reputation as a borrower, and credit holder is protected during the Sale or Deed in Lieu Foreclosure process. Make sure to consult with a Foreclosure and/or Real Estate Law Firm.
#5. Never Panic. Take Action!
Whether you are going to fight to keep your home, or let your property go in a Smart Sell or Deed in Liu Foreclosure, take action. Do not allow the fate of your home and family rest on the decisions and sympathy of the banking side. They will make the best financial decision for themselves and Investors. That is the most important concept to them. The profit from each mortgage note.
Be mindful of your family and the overall household moral. The stress and anxiety you feel, will trickle down to other members of your family. The mental, physical and emotional toll of the process can and will impact your health. There is nothing more important than the health of you and your family. To ensure the best possible result for your family, consult with legal professionals before making any statements to your lender, or taking any action.
Get organized, Gather all of the documents required. Have an honest talk with your family. Calculate whether you can afford your home or not. Get Help. Take Action.
Roosevelt Law Center takes pride in having protected Thousands of Families from Foreclosure in the decades of service to homeowners.