Being faced with impending foreclosure of your home can be one of the most devastating experiences one can go through.When the economy tanked, many people found themselves “upside-down” or “under water” in their mortgages and lost their house. If you find yourself in such a precarious situation, here’s a list of things to keep in mind:
Contact Your Lender
It’s essential that you contact the lender as soon as you realize you’ll have a problem making the mortgage payment. With this first, but difficult call, you are not only addressing the problem, but also may get help in finding a solution. If your lender writes or calls you, it is equally important for you to be prompt in answering. If they don’t hear from you, the lender is very likely to go ahead and start legal proceedings which could lead to foreclosure. Make sure you keep copies of all documentation you provide the lender and be sure to note the date and time of any phone conversations with them.
Contact Housing Counselor
Housing counselors can give you some advice about your options and resources available. Gathering information from a housing counselor is free. One service they provide is occasionally writing your lender to see if payments can be negotiated.
Get Legal Help
Reach out for an attorney and review your mortgage documents with them. Make sure that your loan isn’t in violation of any laws. Getting a lawyer involved as early as possible in the process is vital.
Look Out for Scams
Predators pay off people in the courthouse to notify them of pending foreclosures. Be cautious of anyone who asks for an upfront fee in exchange for obtaining a loan modification on your behalf. New York prohibits the collection of up-front fees, as do most states. Watch out for anyone that claims they can save your home if you transfer the deed over to them. Claiming they can get you added time in which to pay in exchange for holding the deed is one of the oldest scams known in the real estate business. Under NO circumstances should you ever pay your mortgage money to anyone other than your lender without getting the lenders signed permission.
National Mortgage Settlement
If you happened to be foreclosed on between January 1, 208 and December 31, 2011, you may be eligible for some money. Your attorney can discuss this with the Attorney General and the Settlement Administrator to see if you qualify for a payment. Your attorney knows the procedures to follow in first investigating your right to compensation and second, the steps need to take to obtain it for you. It is possible that your attorney may handle this for you on a contingency basis, doing the work upfront and receiving payment only after winning.
As bad as it feels to be facing foreclosure, it’s not the time to panic. Keep a cool head and make a promise to yourself to go through the experience one day at time. Having a knowledgeable attorney to walk you through the steps and represent you if needed, is the best way to make sure your rights are protected and you will not be victimized again by overzealous lenders.