If you've been struggling with trying to keep up the payments on your mortgage you need to take a deep breathe and take a step back to see what options are available to you.
Starting out the whole foreclosure process seems overwhelming and extremely frustrating. Even when you try to work with your lender you will find yourself talking to a different person every time you call, lost paperwork, disregard for your feelings and emotions and a constant onslaught of feeling inadequate.
Here is a brief review of the foreclosure process. Let's see what in fact is the correct term and understanding of foreclosure. Foreclosure is a process that allows a lender to recover the amount owed on a defaulted loan by selling or taking ownership (repossession) of the property securing the loan. The foreclosure process begins when a borrower/owner defaults on loan payments (usually mortgage payments) and the lender files a public default notice, called a Notice of Default or Lis Pendens. The foreclosure process can end one of four ways:
1. The borrower/owner reinstates the loan by paying off the default amount during a grace period determined by state law. This grace period is also known as pre-foreclosure.
2. The borrower/owner sells the property to a third party during the pre-foreclosure period. The sale allows the borrower/owner to pay off the loan and avoid having a foreclosure on his or her credit history.
3. A third party buys the property at a public auction at the end of the pre-foreclosure period.
4. The lender takes ownership of the property, usually with the intent to re-sell it on the open market. The lender can take ownership either through an agreement with the borrower/owner during pre-foreclosure, via a short sale or foreclosure or by buying back the property at the public auction. Properties repossessed by the lender are also known as bank owned or REO property (Real Estate Owned by the lender).
There are a number of ways you can avoid the foreclosure and here are the top 5:
1. Reinstate your past due payments – Now if you can do this you probably wouldn't be in the trouble you are now but let's say you were out of work and got a new job or were able to borrow money from family, then you can work out a plan with your lender to get caught back up. When you call your lender make sure you find someone who can reinstate your loan at the terms that work for you. Don't take no for an answer and work your way up the ladder until you reach a manager or supervisor that can help you. If you need to find someone higher up at the company use resources such as www.linkedin.com or www.jigsaw.com.
2. If you know it's time to leave the property but you need more time to get things in place or to save up for a deposit, etc, then get that property listed and get an offer on the property. One of the best and fastest ways to get this done is to obviously get a Realtor to list your property. Now this is the caveat; be careful who you use because it takes a smart, crafty and experienced short sale Realtor to get the job done. Make sure your Realtor has successfully settled more than 10-15 short sales. No less. Unless you want to be a Guinea Pig.
3. Get an offer on your short sale. The fastest way is to have your Realtor contact a local real estate investor to put an offer on your property. Yes the investor will make a low offer but it doesn't matter because if you're the primary owner the IRS forgives up to $2 million dollars in mortgage debt erased with a short sale. Have the Realtor pull comps and the investor should make an offer on the lower end of the comparables minus any repairs. Usually this offer will be around 60-65% of the home's fair market value. Getting an offer on the property, any offer, will usually delay your pending foreclosure by another 3-12 months giving you the opportunity to still live in the property while you start to save money to help with your fresh start once the home sells.
4. Get your lender to show you the note. Yes you can ask the lender to show you the note and see who the actual owner is (the backing investor usually). What's a mortgage note? Great question. A mortgage note is the document you signed when you purchased your home. Mortgages contain lots of paperwork – but only the original mortgage note with your signature is proof that you owe the debt. That’s why banks need the note to prove that they own the loan and can collect payments from you. The problem is, banks now buy and sell mortgages up and down Wall Street – slicing them up and repackaging them to sell to other banks. The bank you bought your mortgage from two years ago may not be the bank that owns it today. But, in all the shuffle, the mortgage notes often don’t get transferred along with your debt. You have a right to see your note and this action can in most times postpone any pending foreclosure actions. There are many web sites with "show me the notes" tips and tricks to push your lender to produce the note. If you feel this is too complicated there are experienced real estate attorneys ready to help you.
5. File bankruptcy. Now this will definitely get the foreclosure stopped in its tracks. Most times you can at least file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney to see what options are available to you and the costs involved. This is definitely something you want to with an attorney and if you want to see if you can SAVE the home from foreclosure.
If you need any questions answered or want to see how to get a short sale started you can call us direct at 843-492-5058 or email me direct, firstname.lastname@example.org. Even though we're located in Myrtle Beach, SC we are helping homeowners all over the country. Go to our sites, www.ipowershortsale.com or www.myrtlebeachhomebuyers.com.
We have the tools and resources to help you get out of mortgage trouble today.