How To Stop Foreclosures
When it comes to foreclosure, you shouldn’t be embarrassed. There are many other people besides you who have found themselves in a similar situation. What is important is that you take steps to prevent it.
Losing your home can seriously damage your credit rating. It may be difficult to buy another house or even rent an apartment after your home has been foreclosed. This is why it is essential that you do everything within your power to regain control.
Here are some basics guidelines that can help you stop a foreclosure before things get too far out of hand:
Remember, your lender doesn’t want to foreclose on your property. By speaking with your lender and doing all of the things shown above, you may be able to turn your situation around.
What Happens If You Pay Your Mortgage Late
If you pay beyond the date in your grace period, thats when the consequences start to kick in. In general, when you pay your mortgage after the grace period, youll likely end up with a late charge specified in your mortgage contract, one of several potential mortgage servicing fees.
If you pay your mortgage outside of the month it’s due, it has an impact on your credit score as well as potentially affecting your ability to qualify for new loans or lines of credit in the future. If you miss a certain number of payments, you can be subject to foreclosure as well.
Consider Selling Your Home
No one wants to believe they can no longer afford their home. So they keep telling themselves this month will be different until they fall so behind on their mortgage they can no longer catch up.
At the start of my career, I worked for a mortgage lender. The owners also invested in real estate on the side, primarily through buying homes scheduled for foreclosure. They would reach out to owners facing foreclosure and offer two options:
They would offer to buy the home outright for a fair price or to buy it for their mortgage balance and let the seller stay as a renter with the option to buy the home back for a small margin.
Almost every single homeowner facing foreclosure took the second option. And nearly everyone ended up being evicted and losing all their equity because they couldnt afford the monthly payments.
The investors knew they could buy these homes for pennies on the dollar and keep the equity when the seller-renters inevitably defaulted. The saddest part is that it wasnt even a scam.
They laid out both options in crystal-clear language, knowing that the homeowners would make the wrong choice because it let them stay in their homes a little longer and continue deluding themselves that everything was fine.
Dont let yourself fall into the same trap. If your total monthly housing costs including property taxes, insurance, and any association fees come to more than 25% of your monthly income, expect that to stretch your budget thin.
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What If You Cant Pay Your Mortgage
Staying current with your mortgage payments is an important priority. Missing payments can negatively impact your credit score and your personal credit.
Your mortgage is a secured loan thats tied to your house or land. There are many types of mortgages, such as fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, and more. Depending on your mortgage arrangement, you can begin accruing additional fees and costs when you miss payments, making it even more challenging to catch up.
Foreclosure Or Declare Bankruptcy
Foreclosure and bankruptcy are two financial and legal options you could consider when youre having mortgage trouble. When you go through foreclosure the bank officially seizes your property. Declaring bankruptcy means that youre no longer able to pay back your debts.
Both options can drastically and negatively affect your credit. Going through foreclosure could mean that youre unable to obtain a home loan for 7 years. If you go through bankruptcy, those remarks could stay on your credit report for 10 years.
These are by far the most extreme options for people who are having trouble managing their mortgages. Foreclosure and bankruptcy can have negative effects on your credit, but they could also be the only way to get you out of an unaffordable mortgage.
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Late Charges And Other Fees Start To Accrue
When taking out a loan to buy a home, a borrower typically signs two primary documents: a promissory note and a mortgage . The promissory note is the personal promise to pay back the money borrowed. The mortgage or deed of trust, on the other hand, establishes the lender’s lien on the property and is recorded in the county records.
The terms of most promissory notes require the borrower to make a payment by a specific day of the month and include a grace period for the payment. If you fail to make the payment before the expiration of the grace period, your bank will assess a late fee. The amount of the late fee is set out in the promissory note you signed when you took out your mortgage, and is typically around 5% of the overdue payment of principal and interest.
Also, if you default on the loan, the terms of your mortgage likely allow your bank to pass on certain expenses to you. These expenses include attorneys’ fees and inspection charges, among others.
Are There Agencies That Can Help Me Catch Up On My Payments
Yes. Pennsylvania’s Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program helps people catch up on their mortgage payments.
If you qualify, the program can pay the bank or mortgage company the amount necessary to catch up on your mortgage. The program can also help you make your mortgage payments going forward. The total amount of assistance cannot exceed 24 months .
The HEMAP money is a loan, and you will have to make payments on the loan of $25 per month or more, depending on your income and housing expenses. When you sell your home or finish paying off your mortgage, the balance owed on your HEMAP loan will have to be paid.
To qualify for the program, you must be suffering financial hardship due to circumstances beyond your control, and you must have a reasonable chance of beginning full mortgage payments again before the 24 months of assistance runs out .
How To Catch Up Mortgage Payments
Falling behind on mortgage payments can happen to any of us, especially in the current state of the world. Many have found themselves unemployed due to COVID-19. Despite the current situation, foreclosure is still occurring. Fall far enough behind on your payments, and you could experience foreclosure. Foreclosure is a process in which your lender evicts you from your home and sells it. This is because you failed to make mortgage payments on time. It is very easy to fall behind on payments if you are struggling financially. However, there are steps you can take to avoid foreclosure and catch up on your mortgage payments.
Can I Sell My House When I Am Behind On Payments
Many people do not know it is still possible to sell their home if they are behind on mortgage payments. If you are in that situation you can still sell your home, but it is important to understand exactly what this means and how it will affect the money made in the sale.
First, realize that the fees and the penalties that you have to pay are not going to vanish just because you decide to sell the house. You are still responsible for all of the payments that were missed, and you will have to pay for any penalties associated with them. The lenders expect you to provide a full repayment. If you have equity in your home, you may be able to break even or make a small profit on the sale.
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Applying For Loss Mitigation Before Foreclosure Starts
If you turn in a complete loss mitigation application during the 120-day period, the servicer must evaluate the submission and inform you of the results before it can start to foreclose. Though, once the 120-day period expires, if you haven’t brought the loan current or applied for a foreclosure alternative, the servicer will probably start a foreclosure.
Why Should I Apply for Loss Mitigation?
Before losing your home to a foreclosure, you might want to find out whether you qualify for a mortgage modification, like a Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Flex Modification, or some other mortgage workout option, like a repayment plan or forbearance. Whether you ultimately plan to leave your home, there’s no harm in seeing what you can get. Even if the servicer rejects your application for a foreclosure alternative, simply engaging in the process can buy you some time in payment-free shelter.
Second Missed Mortgage Payment
If you miss your second mortgage payment, your mortgage is likely considered to be in default. At this point, the lender will probably contact you to find out why you havent made your payments. Additionally, the lender may report your late payment to the credit bureaus, which can affect your credit score and stay on your credit report for up to seven years. This is a good opportunity to explain your situation your lender may be able to put you on a plan to temporarily reduce or suspend your payment.
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New Regulations Related To Covid
Under normal circumstances, the number of payments you can miss on your mortgage is four before the foreclosure process begins, but this also depends on several factors, including your lender’s particular policies and the housing market.
However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has protected mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Authority or backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac against foreclosure for 60 days.
Negotiate A Loan Modification
Best if: Youre already behind on mortgage payments and need help making permanent changes to your mortgage terms.
Homeowners with demonstrated financial hardship can also contact their lenders and apply for a loan modification. Unlike forbearance, which is temporary, a loan modification is an agreement with your lender that permanently changes your existing home loan terms.
Depending on the program, the lender may agree to extend your loan term or reduce your interest rate. The goal is to make your monthly payments more affordable, but you dont have to qualify for a new mortgage or come up with closing costs.
Here are some of your options:
- Flex Modification program: If your home loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you might qualify for this program. Youll need to show youre behind on your mortgage payments, why youre going through financial hardship, and how you plan to get back on track.
- Ask your lender: Some lenders offer their own loan modification programs. Call your loan servicer and ask about your options, whether the loan changes will be permanent and how they plan to report your account to the credit bureaus.
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What Is Preforeclosure
Preforeclosure is the first step in the foreclosure process. Its designed to give homeowners options to stay in their homes before a foreclosure. Preforeclosure occurs when a homeowner fails to make mortgage payments, prompting the lender to issue a notice of default. This is a legal notice and means that the lender has begun the legal process of foreclosure.
Can I Sell My House
If you have just fallen behind on your mortgage payments and dont have a way to make those payments for the foreseeable future, you may be able to sell your house quickly to get out of a pickle. In the current climate of the US housing marketand especially in Seattle where housing prices have gone up significantly in recent yearsyour house may be worth more than what you owe on the mortgage. However, this will depend on your individual situation and mortgage/refinance history. If your house is worth more than what you owe on the mortgage then you can sell it and use the profits to pay back the lender.
When selling property the traditional way, the escrow company will get a payoff amount from your lender and pay off the any existing mortgages at closing. This process looks largely the same when selling a house that is behind on paymentsyou will owe your lender whats left on the mortgage plus any missed payments, interest and penalties.
In the event that your mortgage is more than what you could sell your house for, you may have to do a short sale, . Lenders are not always eager to approve these kinds of transactions, but it is preferable to going through the foreclosure process.
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How Are Mortgage Late Fees Calculated
If you cant make your payment by the end of your grace period, its officially considered late. In the short term, this means youll pay a late fee.
The amount of the fee depends on what type of loan you have. In some cases, the amount charged for late payments is also limited by state law.
On most types of loans, the late charge is only applied to principal and interest. Lets say you have a $1,000 monthly mortgage payment based on principal and interest. If the late charge is 5%, youre out 50 additional dollars.
How Much Does A Late Mortgage Payment Affect Your Credit
The effect of a single late payment on your credit report varies. If you have a particularly high and suddenly miss a payment, you can see a steeper drop than someone with a score of 640 and a few late payments, according to Experian®.
Heres some good news: FICO® says one late payment is not a score killer. Your score takes into account late payments only as part of your overall payment history. If you have paid your bills in the past and continue to pay all your bills going forward, you should be able to make up the drop eventually. However, you should know that any late payment will stay on your credit history for 7 years.
The credit hit gets worse the more you push the payment back. A payment thats 90 days late is worse than one thats 60 days late, which is worse than one thats 30 days late, and so on. The biggest detriments to your credit are collection items such as bankruptcies, foreclosures and liens.
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How Many Mortgage Payments Can I Miss Before Foreclosure Happens
When borrowers take out a home loan, they have to start making monthly mortgage payments. As many homeowners know, it can be easy to miss a few payments. You might wonder how many mortgage payments you can miss before foreclosure happens. The answer is that you can miss four payments, or about 120 days, before youre in danger of being foreclosed upon.
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Things You Should Know About Mortgage Arrears
For a lot of people, mortgages hold a lot of confusion. You pay them each month so you can live in and eventually own your house, but all of the jargon associated with them is too much. Case in point what does it mean to be in arrears? In simpler terms, mortgage arrears are when you are behind on your payments. Basically, to be in arrears is to owe extra debt on your loan because you havent been keeping up the way you said you would. Here are five things you should know about mortgage arrears.
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How Can I Apply For The Hemap Program
If you fall behind 60 days or more on your mortgage payments, the bank or mortgage company is allowed to send you a letter telling you that you are in default and letting you know about the HEMAP program. As soon as you get this letter, you should call one of the housing counseling agencies listed in the notice and schedule a meeting to make an application.
You cannot apply for HEMAP unless that letter has been sent to you.
You must attend a meeting within 33 days after the date on the notice if you want to apply for HEMAP and put a hold on the foreclosure process while your application is pending. You can attend the meeting after the 33 days and still apply for HEMAP but that will not stop the foreclosure process.
At the meeting, be prepared to explain the circumstances beyond your control that caused you to fall behind. The housing counselor will help you complete your application and will send it to the HEMAP program. If you apply for HEMAP on time, the bank or mortgage company cannot start a foreclosure case against you for up to 60 days while HEMAP reviews your application.
If your HEMAP application is denied, don’t give up. You have the right to appeal, simply by sending a letter to the address listed on the denial letter. Send your letter right away, because there is a 15-day deadline to file an appeal. The foreclosure process can resume while your appeal is being considered.
Find Out What Happens If You Stop Making Your Mortgage Payments
If you fall behind on your mortgage payments, the lender or current owner of the loan is going to start taking steps to collect from you and prevent further losses. You’ll get phone calls and letters about bringing the loan current. Eventually, if you don’t pay the overdue amounts, the bank will likely initiate a foreclosure.
Facing a foreclosure can be a great source of stress and emotional turmoil. Many homeowners in this predicament can’t sleep, fall into depression, have strained personal relationships, and find that the stress negatively impacts their performance at work. But you don’t have to panic. In most cases, the bank can’t start a foreclosure right away and the process is structuredand sometimes lengthy. You’ll have time to make a plan and evaluate your options so long as you act as soon as you know you’re in trouble.
In this article, you’ll learn how long you likely have before a foreclosure will start and you’ll get a general overview about what will happen in the lead-up to foreclosure, in order of what you can expect.
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