Step 3. Reacting to foreclosure

What will your reaction be?

A foreclosure will test you mentally, and you must take a moment to get your bearings. Clearing your mind will allow you to make rational decisions and prevent you from behaving like a deer in headlights.  

Although people react in their way, we can generally categorize their general reactions. 

They fight it with an attorney

Mistakes happen, and if you believe the foreclosure to be an error, you should contact the lender immediately and attempt to correct their mistake. If reaching out gets you nowhere, an attorney will be your best recourse. 

Once hired, the attorney’s first move may be to file a temporary restraining order against the lender to halt the foreclosure. If the lender is at fault, you may be entitled to attorney and court costs.

Note: We strongly advise against fighting a foreclosure without competent legal representation. 

Propose a deed in lieu of foreclosure

During a deed-in-lieu, the lender will take the property back instead of foreclosing on it. However, a deed-in-lieu is once removed from foreclosure, and approval is unlikely. 

Additionally, deeding the property back to the lender without proper approval and documentation will not stop the process. It must be done by-the-book and as quickly as possible. Once completed, there is no going back; you’ve forfeit all rights, and all that’s left is to pack up your things and move out. 

Sell the house

Even if you’re behind on the payments, you still have the right to sell the property before the auction takes place. If you’ve recently been served the notice of foreclosure, we highly recommend that you reach out to a real estate agent that specializes in foreclosures. 

If the agent is worth his/her salt, they will reach out to the lender immediately and will provide them with the paperwork necessary for the transaction.

Additionally, you can also work with a real estate investment company like ourselves. In either case, both the agent or the real estate investor should be trained to work with this particular kind of transaction. Dealing with foreclosures is not easy, and you should not place your future in the hands of inexperienced or inept individuals. 

Note: You should reach out even if you have a unique situation. For example, the house may have little, zero, or no equity, and you are unable to afford the closing costs of around 6-8% of the sales price. 

Walking away from the home

The worst thing you can do is to walk away from the situation. Although this is common sense, the stress of foreclosure causes many people to abandon the home and let fate take its course. If you make this choice, the property will be sold at auction, and the consequences will follow you for years to come.

 

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Common questions about Foreclosure

When will my lender file for foreclosure?

Most lenders will wait for the first payment to be 90 days late. This is not a rule, however. Depending on the state, a lender can file for foreclosure as soon as a payment is 1 day late. It’s up to the individual lender to decide on when they would like to take action.

Where can I get help?

Call your lender first. If you can’t get any help, go to makinghomeaffordable.gov or call them at 1-888-995-HOPE.