FAQ On Home Foreclosures
A foreclosure can be a scary and confusing time for many home owners. At Bartifay Law Offices, we do our best to make the process as stress-free and smooth as possible. We’re also here to answer any questions you have along the way. Here are some frequently asked questions and our answers about home foreclosures and the foreclosure process.
What is a Foreclosure?
A foreclosure is the legal means your lender can use to repossess your home. Just as a car lender can retake possession of your vehicle if you default on your agreed upon payments, a home mortgage lender can do the same with your home, and this is a foreclosure. When a foreclosure occurs you are required to vacate your home, and if your property is worth less than the total remaining amount you owe on your mortgage loan, a deficiency judgment can be pursued by your lender as well. This means you could not only lose your home but also owe your lender additional money. Therefore, if possible, foreclosure should be avoided.
How is a Preforeclosure Different?
A preforeclosure occurs when a property owner has defaulted on their mortgage loan payments and their lender has initiated the foreclosure procedure. This process usually starts with an official “Notice of Default” to the homeowner. During a preforeclosure, the property still belongs to the owner and is in the very first stage of the legal process of home foreclosure. The length of the preforeclosure given to the homeowner to get their account back in good standing depends on the type of foreclosure process mandated by state law and can vary in different states.
What Do These Letters From My Lender Really Mean?
If you are receiving letters from your mortgage lender, DO NOT IGNORE THESE. Whether these letters are about late payments, missed payments, or preforeclosure proceedings, it is imperative you call or write your lender’s loss mitigation department as soon as you receive these letters. If you are having trouble keeping up with your mortgage payments it is important you contact your lender, explain your situation, and provide them with as much information as you can regarding your financial situation, your income, and your expenses. Ignoring these letters will result in inevitable foreclosure if you can’t make your payments, but replying to them may help you find a solution with your lender to keep your home.
Are There Alternatives to a Home Foreclosure?
There are a number of alternatives to a home foreclosure that you may qualify for. There is a special forbearance process where your lender may be able to arrange a repayment plan based on your current financial situation; in some cases, this may even allow for a temporary reduction or suspension of your mortgage payments. There are also mortgage modification processes and a “deed-in-lieu” of foreclosure option. Qualifying for these alternatives will vary case to case, but if you stay in touch with your mortgage lender as soon as you start experiencing trouble making your payments, chances are you can qualify for at least one alternative to home foreclosure.
For more information on home foreclosures, or for additional resources for homeowners in trouble on their mortgage, reach out to us at Bartifay Law Offices. We have bankruptcy and foreclosure lawyers here to answer any questions you may have.