That is a picture courtesy of Zillow, showing the locations of foreclosures for sale and potential foreclosures in Baltimore. Currently, there are over 21,000 homes in the ongoing pain of foreclosure, although only 500 are pictured here. This map represents financial dreams like dust scattered by the winds of change. What could you have done to prevent losing your home to foreclosure? What can you do in the future?
You are having difficulty paying the mortgage. You have very little savings for emergencies. You use credit cards to get to the next pay day. Each month you are only paying the minimum on your cards. You are neglecting doctor and dental visits.
The first step to avoid foreclosure: Don’t Ignore the problem. If you are experiencing any of the approaching troubles, and not doing anything about it, you are ignoring the problem.
Second, Contact your lender and level with them. They may be aghast at the extent of your problem, but they have seen this before and will demand you take steps to fix it. That may require you selling your toys and major cuts in your spending.
Third, Do not ignore your mail. I was there in your shoes once. The first thing I did when I got the mail was throw the bills in a box. The first envelopes will contain helpful suggestions to get things under control. Then will come legal action. Ignoring these notices can cause you to lose everything.
Fourth, Contact Professionals – Your banker may be able to refinance the loan or your creditors may be able to give you repayment options. Contact a credit counselor. Sure you will feel like a failure or worse, but take responsibility for your actions. Contact a bankruptcy attorney. That sounds contrary to taking responsibility, but you need to know your options so you can make informed decisions.
Fifth, Know your rights. Read your loan documents and see what powers the bank has and what powers you have.
Sixth, Contact a professional real estate investor. They can solve almost any real estate problem and can help correct almost any financial situation at no cost to you!
Seventh, Beware of foreclosure scammers. Do not sign over your deed to them and then rent it back. Real professionals do not charge up-front fees for their services or want you to make mortgage payments to them.
In summary, recognize approaching trouble, don’t procrastinate, do something, and seek professional help.