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When homeowners stop making mortgage payments, their lenders don’t take kindly to it. And that’s how foreclosures come to be.
But what, exactly, is a foreclosure?
Foreclosure is the legal process by which a lender attempts to get a buyer to repay an outstanding mortgage balance after that borrower stops paying their monthly payments. A lender that hasn’t gotten paid can force the sale of a delinquent owner’s home to recoup its money.
Foreclosure can be a miserable process for homeowners. But as a buyer, it can present an opportunity to snag a home on the cheap.
How foreclosure works
The exact foreclosure process varies from state to state, but here are the basics.
First, a borrower falls behind on his or her mortgage payments. When that happens, a lender typically gives that borrower a chance to catch up in the form of a grace period. During that time, a
What does foreclosure mean, exactly? In simple terms, the foreclosure process allows a lender to recover the amount owed on a defaulted loan by selling or taking ownership of the property. According to RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, as of May 29, 2020, there were 330,105 properties in “some stage of foreclosure (default, auction or bank-owned)” in the United States, so it’s hardly an uncommon occurrence.
If you (or a loved one) are facing foreclosure, make sure you understand the process. While there is variation from state to state, there are normally six phases of a foreclosure procedure.
- Foreclosure occurs when a lender seeks to seize your property as collateral for failure to pay your mortgage on time.
- There are typically six phases in the foreclosure process and the exact steps vary state by state.
- Before a home is foreclosed on, owners are given 30 days
You worked hard to save and purchase a home – but financial hardships can happen to anyone and now you’ve fallen behind so your lender has decided to foreclose. Your first step now should be to contact a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. Foreclosure is a process most lenders would like to avoid. There may be options available to you, and the earlier you see a housing counselor, the broader the range of those options.
1 HUD Foreclosure Counseling Outcome Study
2 NeighborWorks® America: National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program Evaluation (Final Report – Sep. 2014)
Be PREPARED. Not Scared.
Your HUD-Certified housing counselor can help you navigate the foreclosure process by opening up the lines of communication, and may be able to request additional time to review your situation and negotiate a resolution. Depending on your situation, you may be able to retain your home or reach an alternative
There are a number of programs to assist homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure and otherwise struggling with their monthly mortgage payments. The majority of these programs are administered through the U.S. Treasury Department and HUD. This page provides a summary of these various programs. Please continue reading in order to determine which program can best assist you.
Please read FHA’s brochure, “Save Your Home: Tips to Avoid Foreclosure,” also published in Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese.
Making Home Affordable
The Making Home Affordable © (MHA) Program is a broad strategy to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, stabilize the country’s housing market, and improve the nation’s economy.
Homeowners can lower their monthly mortgage payments and get into more stable loans at today’s low rates. And for those homeowners for whom homeownership is no longer affordable or desirable, the program can provide a way out which avoids foreclosure. Additionally, in
Learn the five stages of foreclosure: missed payments, public notice, pre-foreclosure, auction, and post-foreclosure.
Foreclosure is what happens when a homeowner fails to pay the mortgage.
More specifically, it’s a legal process by which the owner forfeits all rights to the property. If the owner can’t pay off the outstanding debt, or sell the property via short sale, the property then goes to a foreclosure auction. If the property doesn’t sell there, the lending institution takes possession of it.
To understand foreclosure, it helps to keep in mind that the word “homeowner” in this case is actually a misnomer. “Borrower” is a more apt term. That’s what a mortgage, or deed of trust, is: a loan agreement for the purchase price of the home, minus the down payment. This document puts a lien on the purchased property, making the loan a “secured loan.”
When a lender loans you money without