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Resources for Tough Times

Foreclosure Prevention

Are you having trouble keeping up with your mortgage payments? Have you received notice from a lender asking you to contact them?

Tips for avoiding foreclosure

If you’re 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 you will lose your house.

Contact your lender as soon as you realize that you have a problem. Lenders do not want your house. They have options to help borrowers through difficult financial times.

Open and respond to all mail from your lender. The first notices you will receive offer good information about foreclosure prevention options that can help you weather financial problems. Later mail may include important notice of pending legal action. Your failure to open the mail will not be an excuse in foreclosure court.

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.

Understand foreclosure prevention options.
Valuable information about foreclosure prevention (also called loss mitigation) options can be found on the internet at The Federal Housing Administration and The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Contact a HUD-approved housing counselor. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds free or very low cost housing counseling nationwide. Housing counselors can help you understand the law and your options, reorganize your finances and represent you in negotiations with your lender if you need this assistance. Find a HUD-approved housing counselor near you by calling 1 (800) 569-4287 or visiting the HUD web site.

Prioritize your spending. After healthcare, keeping your house should be your first priority. Review your finances and see where you can cut spending in order to make your mortgage payment. Look for optional expenses—cable TV, memberships, entertainment—that you can eliminate.

Use your assets. Do you have assets—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.

Avoid foreclosure prevention companies. You don’t need 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 (often two or three month’s mortgage payment) for information and services your lender or a HUD-approved housing counselor will provide free if you contact them.

Don’t lose your house to foreclosure recovery scams! If any firm claims they 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 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 counselor. Additional tips can be found on Freddie Mac’s “Don’t Borrow Trouble” web site.

 
[Content provided by U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development.]

When you’re at risk of losing your home

HOPE Now. For immediate help, call 1 (888) 995-HOPE. HOPE for Homeowners is a toll-free national hotline that offers free foreclosure prevention from a third-party, HUD-certified, not-for-profit network of counseling agencies dedicated to helping homeowners avoid foreclosure. The hotline is facilitated by the Home ownership Preservation Foundation, in partnership with NeighborWorks® America. Mortgage counseling in multiple languages is available.

NeighborWorks® America. A national network of nonprofit organizations that support affordable housing and home ownership initiatives in local communities. Check the yellow pages or visit NeighborWorks® America web site for the office nearest you. To find a HUD-certified NeighborWorks® organization near you, visit HUD Housing Counseling Organizations of the NeighborWorks Network. More than 100 local NeighborWorks organizations are HUD-certified. These organizations offer a range of services including face-to-face financial counseling. For helpful guides, tip sheets and information, visit NeighborWorks® Center for Foreclosure Solutions at www.nw.org.

[Content provided by “Your Credit, Your Home, and Your Future”
distributed by Freddie Mac.]


HUD-approved mortgage lenders.
The federal government and the mortgage industry have partnered to help homeowners who have been negatively affected by recent changes in the economy, or are concerned about the future. The mortgage lenders listed below are voluntarily participating in this special effort. If your lender is listed here, you can help protect your home by contacting them immediately.
• Bank of America 1 (800) 846-2222
• Chase Home Finance 1 (800) 848-9136
• Chase Home Finance 1 (800) 526-0072 ext. 533; 1 (800) 527-3040
• Citimortgage 1 (800) 926-9783
• Countrywide 1 (800) 763-1255; (800) 669-4576
HSBC Mortgage Corporation 1 (800) 338-6441; 1 (888) 648-3124
• James B. Nutter & Company 1 (800) 315-7334
• Mortgage Service 1 (800) 449-8767
• National City Mortgage 1 (800) 367-9305
• Nationwide Advantage Mortgage 1 (800) 356-3442 ext. 6002
• Sun Trust Mortgage 1 (800) 443-1032 Option 2
• Wells Fargo Mortgage 1 (800) 766-0987
• Wendover Financial Services Corporation 1 (888) 934-1081; 1 (800) 436-1022
• Washington Mutual Home Loans, Inc. 1 (866) 926-8937

When you call, be prepared to offer a brief explanation of your circumstances, and have these recent income documents available:
• Pay stubs
• Benefit statements from Social Security, disability, unemployment, retirement, or public assistance
• Tax returns or a year-to-date profit and loss statement
• A list of household expenses

Expect to have more than one phone conversation with your lender. Typically, your lender will mail you a Ïloan workoutÓ package containing information, forms, and instructions. If you want to be considered for assistance, you must complete the forms and return them to your lender quickly. The completed package will be reviewed before the lender talks about a solution with you.

 

[Information collected through the collaborative efforts of HUD/FHA,
Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Labor,
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, members of the Mortgage
Industry-at-large, and other industry participants.]