The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has some good advice for people that are in danger of losing their home through foreclosure. I talked a little about the first three HUD tips here. Here are some more tips from that list, with some discussion.
- Know your mortgage rights. “Find your loan documents and read them so you know what your lender may do if you can’t make your payments. Learn about the foreclosure laws and timeframes in your state (as every state is different) by contacting the State Government Housing Office.” Knowing how much time lenders need to wait, or have to act, helps.
- Understand foreclosure prevention options. “Valuable information about foreclosure prevention options can be found here.” Now that lenders stand to lose a lot more through the foreclosure process than they did when house prices were appreciating rapidly, they will be more willing to work with you as long as you continue to make payments.
- Contact a HUD-approved housing counselor. The government offers free or low-cost housing counseling nationwide, including representation in negotiations with lenders and general financial organization. Numbers to call are (800) 569-4287 or TTY (800) 877-8339.
- Prioritize your spending. Keeping your house should be the top priority aside from staying healthy and taking care of medical conditions. Everything else is in the weeds, especially “nice-to-haves” like extended cable, NetFlix, etc. Even unsecured debt is lower on the totem pole. Missing a credit card payment isn’t good of course, but missing a mortgage payment is worse.
I’ll discuss the last three in a few days, but if you want them all, you can go here.