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7 WAYS TO AVOID FORECLOSURE

You may be facing one of the greatest challenges of your life—having property foreclosed upon. Fortunately, various alternatives exist for those facing foreclosure. Here are some of the options you have to get out from under your property without having to surrender it to the bank. 


1. REFINANCE

In today’s marketplace, there are many different types of financial institutions that lend money. Although you may not be able to refinance with your local bank due to your current situation, there are many mortgage companies and lenders who specialize in creative financing solutions. That’s how they compete with big banks. They are often able to review your situation and find a solution to your needs.

It is true that the loan you get will probably have a higher interest rate than a regular loan. But if you have a good amount of equity in your property, the ability to refinance may be a good option that’s available to you. 


2. BRING YOUR MORTGAGE CURRENT

You're probably already thinking, “If I could bring my mortgage current, I wouldn’t be in this situation!” That may be true, but have you investigated every possible way that you may be able to get the funds. Can you borrow it from a friend, family member or co-worker? Can you sell something? Does your employer have any hardship loan programs? Brainstorm with family members or close friends. The more you think about it, the more likely it is that someone will come across a solution.


3. CREATE A WORKOUT WITH THE LENDER

The lender does not want to foreclose, since lenders are in the business of having their money at work in loans, and not sitting on a property they have taken back through foreclosure. Not only is that a black mark on the lending institution, but it hurts their financial picture as well. 


In many instances lenders are willing to do “workouts” by helping with the back payments that are owed, until you become current again. A typical workout would be the lender taking the full amount of your back payments and dividing that number by 12 or 24. They would then add that amount to your current payments, until you are paid off.


When considering a workout, you’ve got to be able to make that extra payment each month or you will be right back where you started—in the foreclosure process for the second time. At that point, the bank is not going look very favorably upon your situation. It’s best to work with a specialist who has done workouts before and knows the “ins and outs” of the lending business.


4. DECLARE BANKRUPTCY

Declaring bankruptcy is viable option to being foreclosed upon, but it should be used only as a last resort. Also, use it only if you know that you will be able to keep up with your future loan payments. Otherwise you’re just postponing the inevitable, and the longer you wait, the less money you will walk away with from your property.

Bankruptcy is reported on your credit report for seven years. It will also be reported in the financial section of the newspaper—it’s a requirement from the bankruptcy court. Declaring bankruptcy is also costly. When declaring bankruptcy you will have the option to declare either Chapter 7, 11 or 13 bankruptcy.


These refer to different parts of the bankruptcy law, and relate to whether you are somewhat in debt and need to renegotiate with lenders, or whether you truly are going to walk away from your debts. However, be warned that because you can only declare bankruptcy up to every eight years, certain future debts might not be eligible for even bankruptcy protection. The point is that bankruptcy should be the last resort. 



5. CREATE SHARED EQUITY

To create shared equity, you borrow the money from an investor in order to make up your back payments. In return for bringing your loan current, you give the investor a certain portion of the equity in your property. You are giving up part ownership, in return for keeping part ownership:


That beats giving the whole property over to your lender. However, of the seven methods to avoid foreclosure, this is the most difficult to accomplish because there aren't many investors who are willing to risk their money (through making back payments) on an individual who has a history of not paying and becoming at risk foreclosure.



6. TRANSFER TITLE

This is a form of property sale called a “subject to” transaction. An investor offers to make up your back payments and take over your property subject to the existing mortgage. The title of the property goes into the buyer’s name, though the mortgage stays in your name until the loan is paid off. This could take as little as thirty days, or as long as three years. 


You may ask, “How do I know the investor will make the payments?” The answer is quite simple: He has just made up all of your back payments; he now has a financial stake in the property. It only makes sense that he makes your payments to protect his investment. This type of sale is becoming quite common. The benefits include:

• Not having a foreclosure on your record.

• The possibility of getting some cash immediately to start fresh.

• Immediately solving a looming foreclosure.

• Building credit back up with little to no effort since the investor makes up the back payments and begins making the monthly mortgage payments on time every month.


You should look for an investor who’s experienced in this type of solution, and who is a member in good standing with the Better Business Bureau. 


7. SELL YOUR PROPERTY QUICKLY

Sometimes people just want to walk away from a bad situation and leave everything that reminds them of it behind. In this case, you sell your property outright, collect any equity that you have in the property and start over again. It may be time to face what is happening, and act in your best interest right now for a better tomorrow.

You can sell your property through a real estate agent or directly to an investor. Selling directly to an investor will save you the commission that you would pay to a real estate agent and more importantly will save you time. A real estate agent can sometimes take three to six months to find you a buyer and close. If for some reason that buyer cannot get financing or close on the property, you might be left in a bind.


Once your lender has set a date for the foreclosure, it will foreclose on that date regardless of whether a buyer needs more time. In many situations, private investor can pay cash and can close within ten days. As active buyers, they have a reserve of cash ready to offer homeowners who are looking for a solution to their foreclosure problem. 




If you’d like to discuss the sale of your property, learn more about how it benefits you, or even the possibility of refinancing, please feel free to contact us. 

Avoiding Foreclosure: Text
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