Archives: August 2010

Tips for Pacific Northwest homeowners at risk of foreclosure, Part 2

A few days ago, I got you started with some tips that, if acted upon now, can go a long way toward helping you and your family avoid the pain and economic damage of a foreclosure on your Pacific Northwest home. We dealt first with what you can do to stay on top of communication with your Pacific NW lender. Now, some things you can do internally to help with finances during this difficult time:

Prioritize Your Spending Habits

With your number priority focused on your health care, maintaining ownership of your Pacific NW home should be your next priority. I strongly recommend you review your finances and see where you can eliminate spending in order to allow you to make your mortgage payment. Identify optional expenses like cable TV, gym memberships, entertainment that you can eliminate. Other options include the delay of payments to your credit cards and other “unsecured” debt at least until you have paid your mortgage.

Leverage Your Assets!

Do you have assets-a second car, jewelry, a whole life insurance policy-that you can sell for cash to help reinstate your loan? Can anyone in your household get an extra job to bring in additional income?  Even if these efforts don’t significantly increase your available cash or your income, they demonstrate to your lender that you are willing to make sacrifices to keep your home.

Consumer Alert! Avoid Foreclosure Prevention Companies & Organizations!

You shouldn’t pay any fee for foreclosure prevention help! Always apply that money to your mortgage instead. Many for-profit companies will contact you promising to negotiate with your lender on your behalf. While these entities may be legitimate businesses, they will collect a hefty fee from you (often two or three month’s mortgage payment). Know this, a HUD approved housing counselor will provide these services and assistance for FREE, so contact them instead.

Be Aware — Loss Mitigation Scams are in the Pacific NW!

Yes, unscrupulous individuals are on the prowl looking for innocent people to victimize! Please don’t lose your Pacific NW home to a foreclosure recovery scam! If any firm claims they can stop foreclosure on your Pacific NW home immediately, don’t sign anything appointing them to act on your behalf. Unfortunately, many unsuspecting Pacific NW homeowners have signed over the title to their property and making them a renter in their own home! Never sign any legal document without first reading and understanding all the terms and conditions. Securing professional advice first from an attorney, a trusted Pacific NW real estate professional like myself, or a HUD approved housing counselor is a must!

Contact me, Susan Stecher to schedule a discreet conversation how you can possibly avoid foreclosure today! And don’t forget, we’ve compiled a Foreclosure Resource section just for you filled with helpful information on what foreclosure is, and what your options are.

Tips for Pacific Northwest homeowners at risk of foreclosure, Part 1

If you’re at risk of home foreclosure, I know it’s not an easy time. Economic stresses are difficult to face — but there are smart things you can do to avoid foreclosure. If you haven’t already, please see my Foreclosure Resource Page — it’s full of helpful information on foreclosures, short sales, and other options to avoid foreclosure. And, if you need a hand, please don’t hesitate to call my office at (360) 319-4939.

Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure — First, Don’t Wait to Act

Okay, let’s talk about what you can do right now. By reading these tips and taking immediate action you may be able to avoid the foreclosure of your Pacific NW home. Below are some tips to you should consider NOW!

  1. First and foremost, do not ignore these letters from your lender. That’s a terrible mistake
  2. Contact your lender TODAY
  3. Next, I suggest you contact a HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agency Toll FREE at (800) 569-4287 or TTY (800) 877-8339

This can not be stated often enough, if you can not afford to make your house payment don’t ignore the problem. The further behind you become in your house payments, the more difficult it will be to reinstate your loan. By not delaying and not communicating you increase the possibility you will lose your Pacific NW house.

Lenders Don’t Want Your Pacific NW Home!

Contrary to what you may have read or heard, lenders do not want your Pacific NW home. There are options available to help Pacific NW homeowners through difficult financial times.

Open Your Mail & Respond to Your Pacific NW Lender!

Often homeowners ignore the initial notices you receive. What you may miss are attempts by your lender to provide good information about foreclosure prevention options. These options could help help you weather financial problems. If you fail to communicate with your lender, you will begin to receive correspondence that includes important notification of pending legal action. Ignoring these letters will not be a valid excuse when you are standing in front of a judge in foreclosure court.

Know Your Rights as a Homeowner!

Hopefully you have access to your loan documents. Find these documents and read them. That way you know what action your lender could take if you can’t make your house payments. By all means, learn about the foreclosure laws and time frames here in Oregon by contacting me or contacting the Oregon Government Housing Office.

Understand Your Foreclosure Prevention Options

HUD offers valuable information on foreclosure prevention (or loss mitigation), and it can be found here.

Contact a HUD-approved Housing Counselor Today!

One of the responsibilities of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to offer no cost/very low cost housing counseling to Pacific NW homeowners. Housing counselors will help you understand familiar with the law and your options. One of the very first items they recommend includes compiling and organizing your financial information. They will represent you in negotiations with your lender if you need this assistance. To find a HUD-approved housing counselor in the Pacific NW call (800) 569-4287 or TTY (800) 877-8339.

Check back in a few days for more tips on how you and your family can make smart decisions to avoid foreclosure on your Pacific Northwest home.