Facing Foreclosure Now What?

All across America people are waking up and facing foreclosure, and aksing now what? There are of course several options with varying consequences. First, and unfortunately a very popular answer is doing nothing. Doing nothing of course will eventually lead to foreclosure. The average foreclosure takes about six months and many homeowners are using this time to get back on their feet by not paying a mortgage and basically living in their homes for six months or more for free. This is of course the worst option for your credit, a foreclosure can take up to 10 years to be removed from your credit report.

In many areas of the country such as Northwest Arkansas, where I am located an option of ever increasing popularity is the short sale (for more information on short sales visit http://www.foreclosuresnwa.com). A short sale is still damaging to your credit, but not as bad as a foreclosure. Most people will be able to purchase another home in as little as 3 years after a short sale. The catch to the short sale is the “qualifying event”. Lenders want a reason to forgive your debt. Some examples of a qualifying event are divorce, job loss, or a medical crisis. To qualify you will have to prove that you are no longer able to make your current payment. Short sales are a complicated process and most lenders prefer to work with a real estate agent who is experienced with these transactions. The great news is there is no fee for using an agent in this transaction, the lender will pay all of the real estate fees. So if you are facing a short sale, get help, an experienced agent can be invaluable in handling issues such as postponing foreclosure sales and dealing with difficult lenders.

A third option is a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Many banks will accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure if you are not successful in selling your home via a short sale. The deed in lieu of foreclosure is basically a transaction where you give the home back to the lender so they do not have to foreclose. This transaction can prove beneficial for all parties since the average cost of foreclosure in the United States is $55,000.

A final option is a loan modification. This is a process by which the lender agrees to change the terms of the mortgage. This may include a reduction to the principal, a reduction to the interest rate, or changing a variable rate note into a fixed rate note. All of the changes can be done through your lender directly. There are companies that will help you with a loan modification for a fee, but make sure you research them extensively before you sign up for their programs.

Facing foreclosure can be overwhelming to many people. There are many options and often times that makes it seem even more difficult. The number one thing to do is take action, contact your lender, either directly or through an agent. Remember the lender may not nice, often times they are not even polite, but they are in business and NO ONE benefits from a foreclosure. Be persistent and don’t be afraid to get help.

For more information on foreclosures or for our FREE list of foreclosures:

Visit http://www.foreclosuresnwa.com

Brian Curtis is a Real Estate broker in Northwest Arkansas. Brian specializes in listing and selling short sales, foreclosures, and other distressed properties.

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