Where to Start When Facing Foreclosure

Facing a foreclosure situation can be an overwhelming experience. This is especially so when you do not know where to begin. When life situations occur where paying your bills becomes difficult, paying your mortgage under the current payment terms can become nearly impossible. This does not mean that you are without options, however. The best place to begin is to contact your mortgage lender directly. There are various programs that your own lender has available, but you need to take the initiative to start the process with them. Options available through your lender include:

•    A deferment or a payment plan to get the mortgage payments caught up;
•    Refinancing the mortgage for a longer term lowering your payments—if you qualify;
•    A loan modification arranged directly with your lender; and
•    If keeping the house is not your goal, a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure—be sure, however, that this agreement is in writing, and that the lender is waiving any right to a deficiency for the balance of the mortgage.

Obviously, some lenders are easier to deal with than others; however, your best and most proactive first step is to start with them. If it is determined that you do not qualify for one of the resolutions noted above, options still remain. For example, you could still get a loan modification through the HAMP program, walk away from the home and let it foreclose, or file bankruptcy to discharge any deficiency debt. If you are in this dilemma, please contact one of your attorneys at Wagner, Falconer & Judd, Ltd. to discuss your situation more thoroughly and to explore all of your options during this difficult time.

Attorney Robert J. Carlson