A Georgia Notice of Default should never be ignored, but it may not lead to foreclosure if you keep your wits about you and investigate your options.
Sometimes we all hit a rough patch in life. Circumstances beyond our control can temporarily send our well-planned lives into a tailspin. Sometimes, in spite of our best efforts to meet our monthly financial obligations, often robbing Peter to pay Paul....sometimes, we run out of money before we run out of month. And sadly, sometimes or mortgage payments get backed up. It happens, way more often than folks will readily talk about.
So you sashayed out to the mailbox on this sunny Georgia morning and got an unwanted surprise: your lender has issued you a dreaded Notice of Default! They are threatening foreclosure unless you pay up now.
Your hands begin to shake, the pit of your stomach seems to sink to the bottom of your feet, and the blood drains from your face. This seems like the worst possible thing that could happen right now.
Stop! Don't panic.While the understandable first reaction to a notice of pending foreclosure may be dread and despair, don't linger there. It may take a little wrangling, but you're not down for the count just yet. Pull yourself together and see if there is any way to fight back.
Put your fear aside and get ready to wrestle.
There may be something you can do to turn this regrettable situation around. Perhaps all you need is a little more time.
These days, most lenders would rather work with you than foreclose on you. It's not quite altruism on their part -- rather, it's for their own benefit in most cases. Did you know that it can cost the lender more money to foreclose than to work it out? According to my research, lenders often spend an average of $40,000 - $50,000 and sometimes much more in total expenses, fees and losses when they foreclose. In some cases they even have to fight it out in court before they can take your house to the courthouse steps.
So, get right on the phone and contact your lender to see what you can work out. You may be surprised to learn that you do have options.
Could you get your loan caught up soon?
If your financial problems are temporary and you know the situation will be made right soon, you may be able to work out a repayment plan that will satisfy your lender. You may even be able to defray part or all of the missed payments by having them added back into your loan on the back end. It is worth asking, don't you think?
Could restructuring the mortgage solve your problem?
First ask for a Loan Modification. In some cases, your mortgage payments can be restructured to give you a more manageable monthly payment. This often involves and extension of the original loan term, but can allow you to stay in your house with a payment you can afford.
Could a short sale be your answer?
If they are unable to modify your loan to a monthly payment you can comfortably manage, you can ask for a Short Sale to avoid foreclosure. In a short sale, you put your house on the market and get a purchase offer for fair market value, whatever that may be. You and your Realtor should then make a solid case to your lender as to why they should accept the offer as "payment as agreed" and release you from the former debt. This is a simplification of the process, of course. In reality, it can be a tricky transaction to navigate, but an experienced short sale specialist or distressed property expert can smooth the process, and assist you to a successful resolution. The Property gets sold, the lender nets more money, and you avoid foreclosure and get released from an unaffordable obligation.
Try a short sale solution.
Its a win-win situation for everyone involved. You get out from under your debt, and the lender saves money too. Consider the objectives of the lender. They want what's best for their bottom line, and that ususally is not another bank-owned property stting on the market, maybe even languishing there, losing value by the month. Foreclosure costs the lender in advertising, attorneys fees, maintenance, REALTOR fees, repairs, vandalism, etc. From the lender point of view, it might be better to delay the foreclosure and give you an opportunity to short sell. You'll never know unless you ask.
So start by talking to your lender. And then, if that fails to resolve your dilemma, don't just talk to any old agent. Call in an agent who is also a short sale expert who specializes in situations like yours.
It is very likely that you can avoid Georgia foreclosure if you act fast and get all of the facts you need.