When you're unable to make your monthly mortgage payments for any reason, it's only a matter of time before you'll receive a foreclosure notice in the mail. While this can certainly be a scary document to receive, the good news is that a foreclosure notice doesn't have to mean losing your home. There are plenty of steps you can take to protect your legal rights and potentially save your home from being foreclosed upon.
Contact Your Lender Immediately
The first (and often most difficult) step you'll want to take, if you haven't done so already, is to contact your mortgage company directly. Notify your lender of your current financial situation and explain your inability to pay your mortgage at this time. You may be surprised at how willing your lender is to work with you and figure out a way to help you avoid foreclosure. After all, the legal process of foreclosing on a home is not an easy one--and it's generally not something any lender wants to do if they can avoid it.
In many cases, your lender will ask for proof of financial hardship (including a formal letter of hardship from you) before working out a plan to get you back on track with your payments and avoid foreclosure. Working out something with your mortgage company is always the best place to start.
Explore Assistance Programs
If your lender isn't willing to work with you or if you're unable to come up with a plan that will work for both parties, you may want to look into applying for a government assistance program. The Home Affordable Modification program is specifically designed for those who have fallen delinquent on their mortgage payments and can help you come up with a more affordable monthly payment. Other government programs may allow you to short-sale your home in order to avoid a foreclosure.
Consult With a Foreclosure Defense Attorney
No matter where you stand when it comes to the foreclosure process, it's always a good idea to consult with an experienced foreclosure defense attorney if you've received a notice in the mail regarding your home. A foreclosure defense attorney will be able to help you explore all possible options for keeping your home while guiding you through the complex legal process as well.
Receiving a foreclosure notice can be devastating, but by following these steps, you may be able to save your home.