Free Money Finance recently had an acquaintance of his go into foreclosure, and the signs of trouble were clear in retrospect.
People don’t advertise that they’re facing foreclosure, at least not outwardly. Even if money is getting really tight, people can compartmentalize the worry when they’re interacting with others. One family I know had a fairly substantial problem with debt — work for the main breadwinner was too slow — but if it hadn’t been explicitly told to me elsewhere, I probably wouldn’t have known.
Some things to watch for (perhaps):
- Breadwinner loses work and hasn’t mentioned another job. They may mention the job loss, but it would make sense to me that they would come back to share the good news if they had found work again. I’d be concerned if they didn’t.
- Spouse goes back to school or work. Especially if there are school-aged children. Why would the stay-at-home spouse leave the kids to work? There are other reasons besides money, but money is a really big one.
- Strange stories. At best it may come across as wishful thinking in retrospect, but there’s something in the story that isn’t quite right. FMF’s acquaintances left their home to move into an apartment, as the new one wasn’t quite ready yet … but they hadn’t sold the house they were in? “Why move?” was his question.
- Kids who know the truth. Kids talk more candidly than adults, and may spill the beans on an impending foreclosure.
It’s sad when someone you know is facing foreclosure, especially when it’s too late.