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Stopping Foreclosure: The Basics

April 26, 2017

Disclaimer: This article has been written for general information purposes only. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, may not be current and is subject to change without notice.

 

Even if you haven't yet missed a mortgage payment, but are worried you might fall behind soon, now's the time to take action. You may be eligible to refinance or modify your mortgage loan, lowering your payment and making it more affordable. Or, if you've missed payments and find yourself buried under late fees and past-due amounts, you may qualify for a temporary (or permanent) solution to help you stop foreclosure and save your home.

 

Here's an overview of possible options to help you stop foreclosure and save your home:

 

Loan Modification. Under this option, Dickens Law Group helps you reach an agreement with your mortgage company to change the original terms of your mortgage--such as payment amount, length of loan, interest rate, etc. In most cases, when your mortgage is modified, you can reduce your monthly payment to a more affordable amount.

 

A loan modification may be an option if:

  • You are ineligible to refinance

  • You are facing a long-term hardship

  • You are several months behind on your mortgage payments or likely to fall behind soon

 

What are the benefits of a loan modification?

  • Resolve your delinquency status with your mortgage company

  • May reduce your monthly mortgage payments to a more affordable amount

  • Change the original terms of your mortgage permanently, giving you a new start

  • Less damaging to your credit score than a foreclosure

  • Stay in your home and avoid foreclosure

 

How does a loan modification work? A modification involves one or more of the following:

  • Changing the mortgage loan type (e.g., changing an Adjustable Rate Mortgage to a Fixed Rate Mortgage)

  • Extending the term of the mortgage (e.g., from a 30-year term to a 40-year term)

  • Reducing the interest rate either temporarily or permanently

  • Adding any past due amounts, such as interest and escrow, to the unpaid principal balance, which is then reamortized over the new term

 

Government Assistance Programs. Government assistance programs, such as Making Home Affordable (MHA) and the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), have helped millions of homeowners obtain mortgage relief and avoid foreclosure. As of December 30, 2016, no new applications or new requests for assistance under any MHA program are being accepted. Although this resource is no longer available to homeowners, help is still attainable. At the direction of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae has announced the Fannie Mae Flex Modification program which is intended to replace some of the options offered under MHA. Dickens Law Group can help you apply to see if you qualify for assistance under this new program.

 

Forbearance Agreement. Forbearance agreements are typically used when there is a short-term hardship that you will recover from in just a few months. With this option, Dickens Law Group helps you reach an agreement with your mortgage company to temporarily suspend or reduce your monthly mortgage payments for a specific period of time. This option lets you deal with your short-term financial problems by giving you time to get back on your feet and bring your mortgage current.

 

A forbearance agreement may be an option if:

  • You are ineligible or do not want to refinance

  • You are facing a temporary hardship

 

What are the benefits of a forbearance agreement?

  • Lower or temporarily suspend your monthly payment--giving you time to improve your financial situation and get back on your feet

  • Less damaging to your credit score than a foreclosure

  • Stay in your home and avoid foreclosure

 

How does a forbearance agreement work? A forbearance agreement reduces your monthly mortgage payment--or suspends it completely--during the forbearance period. If you qualify for forbearance, Dickens Law Group will work with your mortgage company to determine the terms of the forbearance agreement, such as:

  • Length of the forbearance period

  • Reduced payment amount or complete suspension of payment

  • Terms of repayment

 

Repayment Plan. To help get your mortgage back on track, you might be eligible for a repayment plan. With this option, Dickens Law Group helps you reach an agreement with your mortgage company allowing you to repay your past due amount over several months in order to bring your mortgage current.

 

A repayment plan may be an option if:

  • You are ineligible or don't want to refinance

  • You are facing a short-term hardship

  • You are only a few months behind on your mortgage payments

  • You can now afford to make your monthly mortgage payment

 

What are the benefits of a repayment plan?

  • Bring your mortgage current and resolve your delinquency

  • Catch up on your past due payments over an extended period of time

  • Less damaging to your credit score than a foreclosure

  • Stay in your home and avoid foreclosure

 

How does a repayment plan work?

 

If you qualify for a repayment plan, typically your past due amount will be spread out over a set time frame (e.g., 3, 6, 9 months) and added on to your existing mortgage payments. Your mortgage company may have you sign an agreement that will outline how you are going to repay your past due amount, such as the length of the repayment period and other specific terms.

 

Reinstatement. One way that some homeowners can stop foreclosure and save their home is to bring the loan current by paying all of the missed payments (plus other costs and fees) in one lump sum. This is known as "reinstating" the loan. Paying the reinstatement amount stops the foreclosure. Typically, your mortgage company will let you reinstate the loan at any point prior to the foreclosure sale. While not everyone is in a financial position to take advantage of this option, Dickens Law Group can help determine whether it is a possibility for you. Dickens Law Group will contact your lender to get the exact reinstatement amount and will follow through after payment to ensure the foreclosure is stopped.

 

Avoid Foreclosure! Regardless of which of the above options may be right for you, the key to stopping foreclosure is being proactive and acting quickly. Foreclosure can have serious negative consequences on your ability to get new housing, credit, and maybe even potential employment, for many years. Act now and let Dickens Law Group help you learn how you can stop foreclosure and save your home. Contact us today for a FREE CONSULTATION!

 

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