If you’re facing foreclosure, you’re not alone. According to RealtyTrac, 1 in every 3,426 homes in Michigan are being foreclosed in 2017. Muskegon is the worst county for foreclosures in the state, with every 1 in 1,063 homes being foreclosed. What should you do when you’re facing foreclosure?
Communicate with your lender
Your first instinct may be to avoid your lender. But honestly, the best thing you can do is contact them and find out about your options. We at Riverbank don’t want to see you default on your mortgage. If you’re in danger of facing foreclosure, contact us right away to set up an appointment with one of our professional loan officers. We can help evaluate your situation and figure out the best solution for you, as long as you’re committed to saving your home.
Know your rights
Make sure you understand your rights as a homeowner, and what your lender can and can’t do if you default on your mortgage, by reading through your loan documents. Contact the Michigan State Housing Development Authority toll-free at (855) MI-MSHDA (1-855-646-7432) to find out about foreclosure laws in your area.
If you’re in danger of falling behind in your mortgage payments, reevaluate your budget. Besides your own health, keeping the roof over your head should be the highest priority. Is there anything in your budget you can cut or reduce, such as cable TV or other entertainment expenses? Can you call your student loan company to find out whether you can delay payments due to hardship? Can you pay the bare minimum on credit card debt until you’re all caught up with your mortgage?
If you have an extra car you’re not using that often, you could sell it to make some extra money to pay toward your mortgage. Could you or someone in your family take an extra job temporarily? Even if you don’t make enough to catch up with your mortgage payments, at least your efforts will show the lender you are serious about saving your home.
Get foreclosure assistance
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recommends that you get assistance as soon as possible. Whether you’re in danger of missing a mortgage payment or have already missed several, make sure you are regularly communicating with your lender. Help is available. Contact a HUD-approved housing counselor to discuss your options by calling toll-free, (800) 569-4287. There are federal government programs that can help you prevent foreclosure.
The state of Michigan also has a program called Step Forward, which was created in 2010 to help those who are in danger of foreclosure. Since its inception, Step Forward has given more than $307 million to 34,567 homeowners in the state of Michigan, according to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. The program still has $40 million available to struggling homeowners until it expires in 2020, MLive.com recently reported.
The way the program works is that homeowners can get a five-year, zero-interest loan of up to $20,000 in the form of a lien against their property in order to help pay back debts. To be eligible, you must have less than $10,000 in savings and prove that you can pay all of your future mortgage payments, condo or homeowners association fees, and taxes. To find out whether you qualify for Step Forward assistance, go to stepforwardmichigan.org or call (866) 946-7432.
Be sure to contact us right away at Riverbank Finance at 800-555-2098 if you think you might have to miss a mortgage payment. Our professional loan officers can help you evaluate your options.