A foreclosure notice from the bank is a frightening sight to say the least. However, it does not mean that all hope is lost. There are many proactive measures at a homeowner’s disposal that can help prevent the foreclosure of a home.
When legal recourse is the necessary option in the fight against foreclosure, it is essential to have the right team at one’s side. The Labiak Law Group are experienced bankruptcy attorneys in the state of California at dealing in using the bankruptcy code to stop foreclosure.
A mortgage is a loan from the bank that is used to purchase a house. In the contract it is stipulated that if the homeowner fails to make the necessary payments on time, the home will be seized and liquidated by the bank. Unfortunately, this arrangement can lead to many shady dealings on behalf of the banks.
The United States Government webpage on foreclosure lists several preventive steps that can prove vital in the event of a foreclosure:
- Contact the lenders
- Seek assistance with the MHA program
- Mortgage refinancing
When making the monthly mortgage payments no longer becomes possible, it is time to contact the lenders in order to negotiate a new settlement. If the missed payments begin to accrue without a proper plan in place with the creditors, it can lead to imminent foreclosure. An honest explanation about one’s financial troubles can go a long way. Although it may seem humiliating at first, it is surely better than letting missed payments get out of hand.
The Making Home Affordable (MHA) government program offers free advisement and counsel for homeowners in the face of foreclosure. Homeowners are assigned a personalized counselor in their area, who can help them devise a foreclosure avoidance program.
Homeowners might be able to take advantage of lower interest rates established by the Federal Reserve Board in order to refinance their mortgage. Lowering a mortgage rate by a mere 0.5% can drastically reduce interest payments over time or refinancing to a 15-year loan as opposed to the traditional 30-year loan can also have many advantageous effects.
Beware of Foreclosure Scams
It is essential to seek help from the proper sources. There are many opportunistic scammers who prey on vulnerable people such as homeowners facing imminent foreclosure. These criminals typically advertise their schemes through local advertising:
- Online local publications
- Posted flyers
- Contacting homeowners in the foreclosure notice of the newspaper
- Targeting specific demographics or neighborhoods
They may promise to help smoothly resolve the foreclosure procedure or sell the home while avoiding foreclosure, but are only truly there to pocket any fraudulent fees while leaving the homeowner in the same predicament.
Common sense dictates that Craigslist and other unscrupulous sites aren’t the appropriate places to consult with someone regarding missed payments on a home mortgage. This also holds true for random flyers around town.
Another common tactic which should immediately raise a red flag is being contacted via phone call or email by a mysterious person claiming to be able to miraculously solve all foreclosure worries as a mediator between homeowner and lender. Unfortunately, many homeowners have fallen prey to these sinister scams.
It is important to report these fraudulent advertisements whenever spotted by filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which could possibly save hundreds of homeowners in the future from being scammed in their desperate time of need.
There are plenty of free, helpful resources online from official accredited sites. The MHA government program is the best bet to get started brainstorming all of the possible options. Remember to ignore any unsolicited legal help which could worsen the situation.
Unfortunately, there are twice as many scamming sites out there as opposed to legitimate sites. Here’s a handy guide on the mishaps to avoid while searching for proper counseling online:
- Don’t hand out any personal information to any company without due diligence.
- Don’t sign any documents without proper legal consultation beforehand.
- Don’t pay mortgage payments to any other party than the loan provider.
- Don’t stop making mortgage payments on behalf of unsolicited legal advice.
It is better to err on the side of caution if there is any doubt regarding the legitimacy and identity of a website or company. Free counsel and advisement on foreclosure proceedings can be easily accessed via official US government sites.
Free online resources on how to stop a foreclosure might be helpful for some, but for others it may not fully address the root of their worries. When all other avenues have been thoroughly exhausted to no avail, a free consultation at Labiak Law Group may be the saving grace. Stephen Labiak and team are ready to help homeowners in need with their two convenient office locations in the Fresno and Visalia area of California.