Foreclosure - What Should I Do Now?
Homeownership is a dream come true for many, but for those who cannot keep up with expensive mortgage payments, the possibility of foreclosure is a nightmare scenario.
Struggling making mortgage payments?
- Immediately contact your mortgage servicer and request information about in-house or government loan modification services that may be available. Beware of third-party scammers offering relief if you pay a fee up front.
- Continue to work closely with your lender and promptly provide required materials and information. This information is usually time-sensitive and critical to initiate mortgage relief options.
- Should your lender offer you help that alters the terms of your mortgage or changes your payment amount, always get the offer in writing.
- Do not take up offers from people who try to convince you that they can “save” your home if you sign or transfer the deed to your home over to them.
- Ask for assistance from a counselor certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Help is free. Visit MakingHomeAffordable.gov or call the Department’s Homeowner’s HOPE hotline at (888) 995-HOPE (4673).
Received notice of default or are you in foreclosure?
- Be aware that the foreclosure process often moves quickly. If you feel that errors have been made by your lender or servicer, the most direct and effective course of action is always to contact a private attorney to assist in disputing the foreclosure.
- Contact your lender or servicer immediately upon notice of default to explore what in-house options for loan modification may be available to you.
- Revisit the terms of your mortgage note. In most cases, the mortgage note will clearly lay out how the bank, lender or servicer will execute the default phase into the foreclosure phase.
- Review your income and budget so you can have information on hand to make the modification process more efficient with your lender.
- Do not ignore letters from your lender or servicer. Arkansas Act 885 of 2011 directs mortgage servicers to provide the names and contact information for any loss mitigation or loan modification services that may be available to you prior to the foreclosure.
- Stay in your home for now. It is possible that you will not qualify for assistance if the property has been vacated or deemed abandoned.
- Contact a HUD-approved housing counselor for options such as Making Home Affordable or other programs that may apply to your situation. Contact HUD at (800) 569-4287 or HUD.gov. If your loan is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, it is appropriate to contact them if your servicer is unresponsive to your needs.
- Mortgage relief or home retention services should be engaged only with non-profit counselors or with government agencies that deal directly with your lender, bank or servicer. These services should always be performed at no charge to you. Scammers frequently target distressed homeowners and charge fees.