It’s no surprise that many Americans are losing their homes to foreclosure. The news outlets lead with stories every day about the economic downturn, unemployment rates, and potential housing market decline. Not paying your mortgage – no matter the reason – will red flag your account and can eventually lead to foreclosure proceedings. If you find yourself already in the foreclosure process, don’t despair.
Even though homeowners certainly never plan on being delinquent on their mortgage payments or losing their homes, hope is not lost. This idea of losing a home is certainly stressful and scary but there are ways out of foreclosure so you don’t ruin your credit score or have a foreclosure on your record. Educating yourself is key to understanding the process, finding resources to help you, and knowing some different solutions to foreclosure.
The key is to take action rather than sitting back and waiting for someone to rescue you. When Life Hands You Lemons, Call Your Lender Homeowners default on their mortgages for a variety of reasons but the most common ones are:
- Job loss
- Health Issues
- Death in the family
- Reduced Income
- Increased Interest Rates on Adjustable Mortgage
Mortgage lenders do understand the hardships people face and they prefer not to initiate foreclosure proceedings, but their main goal in this business is to protect their asset, which is your home.
Obviously, the best solution for all parties involved is to avoid this process altogether, (we can evaluate your situation to see how we can potentially help you avoid foreclosure in Oklahoma) so if you expect you can’t make a payment, call your lender immediately. Do not be embarrassed, ashamed, or think you’ll just pay extra next month. One missed payment is all it takes to signal the lender that there might be a problem.
Here are some possible resolutions your lender might consider:
1. Forbearance – Lenders might consider giving you extra time before taking legal action to work out a payment plan that you can afford.
2. Repayment Plan – This option adds a small amount to your current monthly payments for a specified period of time until the amount of the missed payment is collected.
3. Note Modification – Your lender might consider making changes to the conditions of the loan, such as freezing the interest rate for an adjustable mortgage or extending the length of the loan.
4. Partial Claim – Some government loans can be used to pay back missed mortgage payments but there are certain lending criteria to meet.
5. Debt Forgiveness – If you can develop a plan to be current with your loan after this missed payment, your lender might forgive or waive this missed payment. Keep in mind, however, that this option rarely happens.
The key to getting great results with your lender is to work with a qualified team whose experienced in working with the banks to help homeowners out of their situations. Our company has helped many homeowners work with the bank to get great results… and the good thing is that it’s at no cost to you. 🙂
Understanding the Foreclosure Process in Oklahoma
Knowing the foreclosure process well can help you more effectively avoid foreclosure or get your property sold more quickly at a fair price. So… here we go… Pre-Foreclosure is the preliminary stage of the foreclosure process before legal filings are made by the lender. This is the optimal time to stop foreclosure because at this point your credit rating will not be affected.
Arrange with your lender to make up back payments and fees.
Put your house on the market for sale. Quickly!
Find a private investor who is willing to purchase or take over the existing loan.
The actual foreclosure process begins when the lender files a Notice of Default. This is a filing in the public records that indicates where the home is located and it indicates that the homeowner is behind in payments and the home might possibly be seized.
In Oklahoma, the lender typically files a lawsuit in court to foreclose. This process is called a “judicial” foreclosure. You’ll get a summons and complaint notifying you of the suit. If you fail to answer the court action, the lender can get a default judgment from the court. The judgment will give the lender permission to hold a foreclosure sale. But if you respond to the lawsuit by filing an answer, the case will go through the litigation process. The lender might then request the court to grant summary judgment. A summary judgment motion asks that the court grant judgment in favor of the lender because the case’s critical aspects aren’t in dispute.
If the court grants summary judgment for the lender—or you lose at trial—the judge will order the home sold at a foreclosure sale. The lender must mail a notice of sale to you (the borrower) at least ten days before the sale date, and publish the notice of sale for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper. (Okla. Stat. tit. 12, § 764).
Once the Notice of Default is filed, your options as a homeowner are limited, which is why it’s imperative to contact your lender PRIOR to them filing the notice. Ways to Stop a Foreclosure In the event that your lender won’t work with you, there are other options to stop the foreclosure proceedings. However, you must act quickly and really do some research to know which option is best for your situation.
1. Sell Your Home – Speak with experienced real estate agents who are familiar with pre-foreclosures and dealing with loss mitigation and short sales. They must also be knowledgeable of the home prices in your area so you can get an accurate market analysis. Although listing with a discount broker might sound like a reasonable way to save money, interview different agents and find one with strong marketing and sales experience. A discount broker will not save you money if s/he can’t sell the home before the foreclosure process ends.
2. Will Your Lender Consider a Short Sale – If your home is worth less than what you owe on the loan, you might be a candidate for a short sale. Basically, your realtor will need to negotiate with the lender to see if they would be willing to take less than the full amount due on the loan. Keep in mind that this DOES affect your credit just as a foreclosure would and not all homes qualify for short sales.
3. Sign a Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure – This essentially means the homeowner is signing the deed to the home back to the lender, thus closing out the loan and stopping foreclosure proceedings. Again, this affects one’s credit the same as a foreclosure would but you might even negotiate terms to stay in the home or rent the home for a lower price until the home is sold.
4. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy – If these other avenues fail to stop the foreclosure, homeowners can file Chapter 13 bankruptcy which legally puts a stay on the foreclosure. At this point, all creditors are legally bound to stop their collection efforts, including selling the home in the foreclosure process.
However, there are some exceptions and homeowners may still risk losing their homes but an attorney can help explain the legalities. Of course, if the lender won’t work with you and you’re unable to stay in the home… your options are a bit more limited… but there is still hope to save your credit rating, save you money, and get you out of your situation without hassle.
Owe More Than The House Is Worth? We Can Help!
Many times we can make up the back payments, stop the foreclosure and take over your mortgage allowing you to move on with your life along with some cash in your pocket and without the damage of Foreclosure on your credit.
Avoid the Hassles and Sell Your House to Us!
We can evaluate your specific situation for you to lay it out in clear to understand terms exactly which options are realistic and exactly what each option can do for you and your family. Just get a hold of us and tell us a bit about your property. After a short conversation, we should have a clear explanation of what will help you reach your goals in your specific situation.
Learn more about working with us here. No cost to you!
A local, honest real estate foreclosure solutions provider like our company can lay out all of your options in an unbiased situation. If you don’t have the time or energy to deal with hiring a Realtor or simply would rather see if you can stay in your home… a company like ours may be your best bet. (and, we don’t charge you any fees ever) Also, homeowners should make as many calls as possible rather than playing the waiting game. For instance, if your lender takes 5 or more days before letting you know if they will work with you, you could have made dozens more phone calls doing research and setting up an alternative course of action.
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The US government also offers various forms of help to homeowners. Their website has links to various HUD-approved housing counseling agencies which can help assist you in avoiding foreclosure. Certain homeowners may also be eligible for the Making Home Affordable loan modification or refinancing program.
This guide is for educational purposes only and is not to be seen as legal advice. Consult with a legal expert before you make any decisions with your foreclosure.