Are you facing foreclosure? The thought of losing your home can definitely be scary, but there are alternatives to foreclosures that can help you retain ownership of the home. The type of mortgage that you have may determine the alternatives that you can pursue to stay in your home. Your REALTOR® can help you to review your situation and find a solution that is right for you. The options that follow are possibilities for many struggling homeowners.
- Repayment plan. The repayment plan typically involves establishing a schedule with the mortgage lender that will allow you to begin making full regular payments each month plus an extra amount on the arrearage that is due on the loan. This will allow you to repay the delinquent mortgage payments that must be paid over a specific period of time.
- Special forbearance. Special forbearance plans will provide for a temporary suspension or reduction of your mortgage payments. The payments will be increased at an agreed upon point in the future and will require you to repay the delinquency plus the payments due.
- Modification of mortgage. Mortgage modification is an option that will allow you to modify your mortgage in order to refinance the debt you or to extend the term of your mortgage loan. Many people in a variable rate mortgage find that refinancing to a fixed rate mortgage over a greater number of years allows them to reduce the monthly mortgage payment to a more affordable rate.
- HUD partial claim. If you have an FHA insured loan, the lender may be able to receive a one-time payment from FHA that will bring the mortgage into a current status.
- Refinance. If you refinance your mortgage, you can use the equity that has been built up in your home in order to pay your late mortgage payments. You can also negotiate for better terms that can lower the interest rate on your loan, or that can lower your monthly payments to a level that you find more affordable with your current budget. You are not limited to refinancing your mortgage with your existing lender; you can elect to choose a new lender.
Many of these options are available under the Making Home Affordable Program from the U.S. government. This program has options for modification and refinancing of your mortgage as well as alternatives for those homeowners who are interesting in a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure or short sale under the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program. Of course, always consult with your accountant and attorney for legal and accounting advices.