What To Do Following A Foreclosure Notice

Panic is often the first reaction when a foreclosure notice has been received. But if you are a homeowner who has recently received this type of notice, you aren't alone. Tough economic times have forced many homeowners into foreclosure.

But did you know that you do have options? And that, in acting as quickly as possible following the receipt of a foreclosure notice, you can avoid much of the stress of receiving one?

Response Time

Depending on your lender, you could have between 30 and 90 days following your initial missed payments to either make good or protest before your lender forecloses on your home. By not responding to the notice you receive, you risk being unable to defend yourself, as a default judgement will be issued against you.

You should understand that by not acting as soon as you receive your notice, this tells the banks that they are free to evict you from your home. To add insult to injury, they will attempt to do this as fast as possible.

Getting Legal Help

Finding a legal professional as soon as you receive your notice is the first step that any homeowner should make. Having a professional on your side can really help you to navigate the process with the least amount of stress possible.

The professional you choose should be well-versed in the foreclosure process. This can help you increase your chances of stopping the foreclosure. While you may think that representing yourself is an option, unless you have the right expertise, you could be defeated before you even have the chance to defend yourself.

Ensure You're Prepared

Do you have all of the documents you will need that pertains to your loan? If not, the best time to get them together is as soon as possible after you've received your foreclosure notice.  You will need to submit copies of these documents. As well, read over your documents so that you can confirm important information, such as who owns the trust deed and note on your home.

Due to the high rate of fraud occurring in the foreclosure arena, it's important that you are able to prove that your bank is the establishment who owns the note. Experts advise not to be afraid to demand that documents be validated, and not to feel badly about not making a move until you've gotten the confirmation you need.

Foreclosure Alternatives

One alternative to foreclosure is the short sale. This agreement between you and your lender will allow you to sell your home, but for less than you owe on the mortgage. The good thing about short sales is that they allow you to be backed by the government. As well, you can get financial incentives.
Other advantages of a short sale are that they can result in you being able to be a homeowner again, and sooner. This is because having a short sale in your history is less damaging than having a foreclosure.

A short sale can also help your community in terms of home values. This is due to the fact that your lender will often get more money for a short sale home than they would for a foreclosure.

On the other hand, a short sale will negatively affect your credit score. And unfortunately, a foreclosure will have just as negative an impact. So this is something that can't be avoided.

There are many benefits to the short sale process. But each homeowner's situation will be different. The best advice is to stand your ground where it comes to foreclosure and its alternatives. This is because some options may be cheaper for the banks, but not necessarily in your best interests.

Sam Stieler writes on a variety of topics, but is particularly well-versed on the mortgage industry.  He has prepared information including a helpful home mortgage calculator with taxes to help consumers budget during this tough economic stretch.  You can also find Sam on Google.

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