Tips If You Are Facing Foreclosure
If you are unable to make your mortgage payment:
Don't ignore the problem.
The further behind you become, the harder it will be to reinstate your loan and the more likely that you will lose your house.
Open and respond to all mail from your lender and the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency.
The first notices you receive will offer good information about foreclosure prevention options. Later mail may include notice of pending legal action. Your failure to open the mail will not be an excuse in foreclosure court.
If you have requested a modification or other workout plan with your servicer, please confirm that your servicer has received all of the documentation required. If you are already in a trial modification, please verify that your servicer has received the updated income, expenses and financial hardship information that is required to convert the trial modification into a permanent modification.
If you are missing documents, please submit them as quickly as possible. Homeowners who miss deadlines may lose their eligibility.
Know your mortgage rights.
Read your loan documents so you know what your lender may do if you can't make your payments. If you meet with a housing counselor, bring these documents.
Prioritize your spending.
After health care, keeping your house should be your first priority. Review your finances and see where you can cut spending in order to make your mortgage payments. Look for optional expenses: cable TV, memberships, entertainment, etc. that you can eliminate.
Use your assets.
Do you have assets, such as 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. It is not recommended that you use retirement savings, though.
Avoid foreclosure prevention companies and foreclosure recovery scams.
If any firm claims it can stop your foreclosure immediately if you sign a document appointing them to act on your behalf, you may well be signing over the title to your property and becoming a renter in your own home! Never sign a legal document without reading and understanding all the terms and getting professional advice from an attorney, a trusted real estate professional, or a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.
You also should not have to pay fees for foreclosure prevention help – use that money to pay the mortgage instead. Many for-profit companies will contact you promising to negotiate with your lender. While these may be legitimate businesses, they will charge you a hefty fee for services that are offered for free through HUD-approved housing counseling agencies.
Any program that requires you to pay upfront fees to help you avoid foreclosure is illegal. The Office of the N.C. Attorney General provides help identifying and combating foreclosure scams.