5 Possible Alternatives to Foreclosure

Millions of people fall behind on their mortgage payments each year – a sudden layoff, medical bills, or a hot water heater that dies mid-January, can all be financially catastrophic – leaving them afraid to check the mail for fear that a foreclosure notice might be waiting for them. If you’ve missed a few house payments and worry that you might soon be the recipient of an unwelcome foreclosure notice, there are some steps you can take now that might help you save your home and get your finances back on track.

  • Loan modifications.

If you have only missed a payment or two, you may be able to set up a loan modification so payments are smaller and easier to manage. Many banks will work with you to modify your loan, either by lowering your interest rate, reducing monthly payments or reducing your principal. Many of the nation’s top banks are willing to work with those at risk of foreclosure with a loan modification and have been since the housing market crash of 2008 when so many people were under water on their mortgages, owing much more than the home was suddenly worth.

  • Refinancing.

If you are only beginning to feel the pinch of your mortgage payments, refinancing may be an ideal option as long as your credit score is still good and you have some equity built up in your home. A refi will end foreclosure because you will have an entirely new mortgage, often with a different lender. Shop around in order to get the best interest rate possible, so your payments will be lower and easier on your budget, and you will be less likely to fall behind in the future.

  • Bankruptcy.

When you file bankruptcy, actions such as foreclosure proceedings are put on hold until you have discharged the bills owed to creditors. Filing Chapter 13 allows you to set up a payment plan – usually over the course of three to five years – for your missed payments, preventing you from losing your home. Chapter 13 may also allow you to eliminate second or third mortgages on your home if those are weighing you down. This option is possible if you are upside down on your home and there is little or no equity to secure those second or third mortgages. They are then considered unsecured debt and are erased under Chapter 13 proceedings.

  • Payment plans.

You may not have to file bankruptcy in order to use payment plans to save your home. In some cases, a mortgage company may be willing to work with you through a process called forbearance during which you make your normal monthly mortgage payment along with a bit extra to cover the payments you owe. After a few months, you should be caught up with your mortgage and will be back in good graces with your finance company.

  • Add a renter.

If you have a large home, perhaps with a basement space or even simply an extra room, renting the space – or renting out your entire home if you have other housing options – could be an excellent short-term option to help you save your home from foreclosure. While the idea of sharing your home may not be ideal, it is certainly better than losing the home into which you’ve invested so much time and money, and leaving a long-term black mark on your credit files.

Contact a Florida Real Estate Attorney

If you are facing foreclosure or are concerned that your income won’t be enough to cover your house payments in the coming months, your first move should be to contact an attorney who can help you decide which solution is best for you and will be the most effective option to potentially allow you to keep your home. Having an experienced attorney at your side can prevent your lender from taking action without giving you the opportunity to attempt to work with them to find a solution that suits both parties. If you’re facing foreclosure, call experienced real estate and bankruptcy attorney Ricardo Rodriguez at Rodriguez Law at (305) 262-8226.

About Rodriguez Law, P.L.

Rodriguez Law, P.L. is dedicated to providing quality personal legal services to our clients. Our reputation for combining quality, knowledge, and technology to deliver efficiency and value makes us one of the most trusted law offices in Miami-Dade and Broward.