8 Ways to Avoid or Stop Foreclosure...

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1 Free Special Report 8 Ways to Avoid or Stop Foreclosure... Dear Homeowner, If you are headed toward foreclosure, or are already in foreclosure, you need to know the rights and options available to you now. Only then can you take the appropriate steps to save your house, save your credit, or save your equity before it s gone forever. Once you get behind on your mortgage, the clock is ticking. The sooner you decide on the course of action, the better chance you ll have of stopping the bank from taking your home. Foreclosure and Your Credit After your bank forecloses on your home, you ll always have that hanging over your head, coloring the opinions of what others think of you. A foreclosure on your credit will make it difficult to rent a nice house, get a mortgage to purchase another home, get a car loan, get fair insurance rates, and it may even make it more difficult to get a good job since more and more employers are checking prospective employees credit prior to hiring (even Wal-Mart won t hire a cashier who has had a foreclosure). If you think your credit is already damaged because of late payments and can t get much worse, it can. Having a foreclosure on your credit will have a negative effect for years to come. Mortgage applications currently ask if you ve EVER had a foreclosure. You ll have to say yes for the rest of your life unless you avoid it right now by discovering your options and taking positive action. After the foreclosure is behind you and you re rebuilding your credit, it may be five years or longer before you can qualify for a mortgage to purchase another home. Fannie Mae mortgage rules require a five-year waiting period after a foreclosure before approving a new home loan. Keeping a foreclosure off your credit will allow you to rebuild your credit much quicker. If the bank forecloses and you have more than one mortgage on your home, the non-foreclosing mortgage lenders can seek a deficiency judgment to recover what they lost, requiring you to pay the difference. There are several ways to avoid or stop the foreclosure process. Depending on your situation, one of the following options may be a solution for you. 1. Reinstate Your Existing Mortgage To reinstate your mortgage means to pay all of the back payments, late fees, attorney costs, and bring everything current in a lump-sum payment to the mortgage company. This can often times be a 1

2 sizeable amount of money and may be difficult to come up with unless a friend or relative is willing to step in and help you out. 2. Forbearance Agreement A forbearance agreement is an agreement where the lender delays their right to exercise foreclosure if you can agree to an acceptable repayment plan. Usually this involves paying the back payments, late fees, and attorney fees over a period of time (typically months), in addition to paying the full mortgage payment on time each month. The lender s formula is usually based on your disposable income. They will usually require a substantial down payment of 1-2 months of back payments as part of the repayment plan. Also, you ll need to find out how the repayment plan will affect your credit score, as it may show up as a series of 30- or 60-day late payments. But know this from our experience only 1 out of 9 families we speak with who are facing foreclosure are able to save their home by agreeing to pay MORE each month. So it may be in your best interest to explore your options for selling quickly. The lender usually will not agree to forbearance if they do not believe you have the financial means to meet the terms of the agreement. 3. Partial Claim A partial claim is a situation where the lender is willing to put the back payments, late fees, legal fees, etc. into a second loan. This is similar to a forbearance agreement except that a second loan is created independent of the original loan, and the original loan is then brought back to current status. However, like a forbearance agreement, the bank will require financial proof that you can make the payments on the new loan in addition to making payments on your existing mortgage(s). Most banks tend to prefer a forbearance agreement over a partial claim, but a partial claim may be a viable solution in some temporary income loss situations. 4. Loan Modification A loan modification changes your existing mortgage note and gives you a fresh new start. With many adjustable rate mortgages adjusting to very high interest rates, many lenders have been willing to modify the terms of the loan to a lower interest rate to make your payments more affordable. They will generally require proof that you have enough income to make the payments, even at the lower interest rate before they will complete the loan modification. For most lenders, your house payment will need to be less than 31% of your total monthly income. Trying to negotiate a loan modification with your bank can often times be time consuming and stressful, and using a professional to assist you may produce better results than trying to handle it yourself. Always get promises from your lender in writing. During the process of discussing a loan modification or forbearance agreement with your lender, keep in mind that they are attempting to collect a debt and some debt collectors use unscrupulous debt collection practices. They may verbally agree to modify your loan if you send them a certain amount of money first. Beware of this, because they have no legal obligation to follow through on a verbal 2

3 agreement, and they may end up just taking your money without helping you at all. Be sure to get any and all promises in writing by someone who is authorized to follow through with the agreement. 5. New Mortgage With tighter lending guidelines, getting a mortgage when you are behind on your current mortgage is becoming much more difficult. If you are able to get a new mortgage, you ll end up paying a much higher interest rate because of the missed payments on your current mortgage. FHA Secure is a program that will give allowances for late payments only if they were caused by an adjustable rate increase. You would only be eligible if your current loan is not a fixed-rate loan, VA loan, or FHA loan. You must also have a six-month history of on-time mortgage payments before the interest rate reset and became delinquent on your mortgage payments because of the reset. You would also need to meet income qualifications for a new FHA 30-year fixed-rate loan and work with an FHAapproved lender. You ll need to borrow enough to pay off what is owed to your current lender, PLUS the back payments, PLUS late fees and attorney fees, PLUS all the closing costs to get a new loan. If you re able to realistically commit to a larger mortgage obligation, this may be an option to consider. 6. Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure This procedure allows you to transfer your property voluntarily to your lender, and your debt or deficiency is often forgiven. This requires agreement by both you and the lender, and you can avoid your house being sold at auction. However, if you owe the lender more than the house is currently worth or if there is more than one mortgage, the lender generally will not agree to this. Also, the lender will usually report this on your credit record as a foreclosure. There is a specific procedure that needs to be followed when considering this option, so seeking legal advice from an attorney is recommended. Do you need help negotiating with your lender? For most homeowners in foreclosure, the last phone call they want to make is to their lender. Do you feel the same way? A non-profit government approved agency called the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, acts as a liaison between you and your mortgage company. If you would like to keep your home rather than sell, they can help you determine if that would be possible. Contact HOPE or visit online. Ask them about the options discussed above. 7. Bankruptcy This option can liquidate all of your debts or give you more time to pay. However, it typically only delays the inevitable while the amount owed grows to an unrecoverable amount. Know that the bank that lent you the money on your home will get their money or your home. They are a secured creditor. Bankruptcy will never wipe out your mortgage debt It just buys you time to work out a solution (which typically involves the sale of your home). Types of bankruptcy are: Chapter 7 (Liquidation): To completely settle personal debt. Chapter 13 (Wage Earner Plan): Payments are made toward a plan to pay off debts, typically in 3-5 years. Chapter 11 (Business Reorganization): A business debt solution. 3

4 Bankruptcy may be a viable option in some cases, but you should seek legal advice from a bankruptcy attorney, if you re considering filing bankruptcy. We can refer you to a qualified bankruptcy attorney if you re considering this option. 8. Sell Your House If you have considered all of your options for keeping your home and have determined that selling your home would be your best option, you will need to act quickly. You also need to make sure you work with a real estate agent that understands the foreclosure process and the foreclosure laws in the state of North Carolina. Most real estate agents are not properly trained to handle a situation where a house is in foreclosure or is in danger of foreclosure. A typical real estate agent will list your house on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) hoping that some other agent and their buyer will eventually find your house and purchase it before it is sold at auction. Do you feel a foreclosure cannot be stopped, and that your situation is beyond hope? Even if you have little or no equity, we know ways to create it by negotiating with your lender a process called a short sale. What is a short sale? A short sale is when a lender accepts a discounted payoff on a mortgage rather than selling the house at auction. If a borrower owes more than their house is worth, a short sale allows the borrower to sell the property for less than they owe. The discount comes from the bank rather than from the seller. Why would a bank agree to a short sale? A bank will do what is most profitable for them. If there are first and second mortgages on a property, the second mortgage holder often gets none of the proceeds if the property is sold at auction or if it doesn t sell at auction and the first mortgage holder takes back the property. They essentially get wiped out. It costs money for legal and title fees for the first mortgage holder to auction a property, and it costs even more money for holding costs, rehab work, past due utility bills, back property taxes, insurance, REO agent fees, etc. Also, if the bank takes a property back, it sits on their books, which translates to less available money that they can loan to other borrowers. The bank will oftentimes agree to take less than what s owed so they can avoid the risk of additional expenses later. A short sale is also one situation where you would not be able to get cash back, because this would be taking money that otherwise belongs to the bank. Receiving cash from a buyer on a short sale would be committing fraud to the bank. The bank would have already given you money in the form of a discounted loan payoff. A short sale is one of the most common options exercised by homeowners with little equity who need to sell to avoid foreclosure. However, most real estate agents don t understand the short sale process and can put you at greater risk of losing your home and leave you unprotected if they don t follow the proper procedures. Should you do nothing and wait? 4

5 Some borrowers even think they ll benefit from free rent until the bank hires the local sheriff to throw them out. But wouldn t you rather have debt relief, emotional relief and possibly even some seed money (if you have some equity) to start fresh in a new home? And remember you ll want to keep a foreclosure off your credit report if at all possible. Your credit and your equity in real estate takes years to build, but it can be wiped out in a single day once your house is sold at public auction. Let us help you examine all the options you have available NOW. Then you ll be able to make decision based on real facts, not wishful thinking. I invite you to call us at We will gather all the details on your particular situation. Then we will determine what solution(s) would provide the most desirable results -- There s no cost or obligation and we ll hold everything in strict confidence. We don t recommend you try to sell your house on your own unless your loan is current and you have time to test the market. Bankruptcy should always be used as a last resort prior to foreclosure, because (in our opinion) it rarely produces the result homeowners expect or hope for. Let us help you move forward to a brighter future... Put an end to the stress and emotional hardship you may be experiencing right now. Sure, you may find an answer on your own, without us being involved, but you owe it to yourself and perhaps your family to get any help you could use. We want to help. It s what we do every day. Will you take the next step? If you want more information without risk, we ll need to get some information about your situation and your property. You can call us at for FREE, friendly, no obligation information. Or you can contact us through our website at We serve Craven, Edgecombe, Greene Johnston, Lenoir, Nash, Pitt, Wake, Wayne and Wilson counties. After evaluating your situation, we ll share our ideas with you. So please call us. We ll explain everything in clear, easy to understand terms. You ll still have all your other options available if it s determined that we re not your best solution. Even if you think your situation is beyond hope, doing nothing will have long lasting consequences. Explore all your options; you ll be glad you did. Sincerely, Bob Pelletier Bob Pelletier Real Property Restoration & Sales, LLC Website: Phone: (252)

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