With foreclosures on the rise, there has also been an increase in the misinformation being spread about them. If you live in DC, MD or No VA and find yourself in a potential foreclosure situation, contact Rachel Valentino of Valentino & Associates, and her team of DC-area real estate experts. They can help you evaluate your position and possibly avoid foreclosure.
To help you assess your options if you are facing a possible foreclosure, here are some dos and don'ts about foreclosure:
- Do keep paying your mortgage, if possible.
It is not necessary to default on your mortgage payments in order to qualify for help. In fact it is important, if you are financially able, to make your mortgage payments in order to maintain a good credit rating. You may be eligible for a loan modification or other assistance programs even if you are still paying your mortgage.
- Do contact someone for help as soon as you realize that you can no longer afford your monthly mortgage payments.
There is help available. The first thing you should do is contact your lender, explain your situation, and offer to work something out. Some of the possibilities are loan modification, forbearance, reinstatement, repayment plan, or even a short sale. Don't give up if you don't get a response from your lender right away - keep calling. You can also contact a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-approved counselor online or call the Homeowner's HOPE Hotline at 888-995-HOPE (4673).
- Don't assume that you need to leave your home as soon as you are notified about a foreclosure.
Foreclosures take months to complete due to the procedural and legal requirements that lenders need to follow. In the meantime, you may be able to work something out with your lender.
- Don't assume you can no longer work things out with your lender if you get a foreclosure notice.
Lenders lose money when they foreclose on a property. In most cases, they would rather consider a workout or other arrangement in which they will get paid.
- Don't assume that you cannot get another mortgage after a foreclosure.
Whether you bought a home you really could not afford or perhaps lost your job and could no longer afford your payments, it is not the end of the world. Learn from your mistake by figuring out a workable household spending and saving plan. It may be several years before you can qualify for a new mortgage, but with careful budgeting and re-establishment of your credit, you will be able to get another mortgage.
- Do be careful about agencies offering to help.
Try to work with your lender first. If you do use a third party, avoid firms that ask for a fee in advance or promise that they can stop foreclosure or modify your loan. Scams are rampant these days, so check internet resources and the Better Business Bureau to make sure you are dealing with an honest company.
If you live in the DC area and are struggling with your monthly mortgage payments, don't ignore the problem. Help is available. Contact DC-area real estate expert Rachel Valentino. She can help you determine your options.