Unfortunately, during these unprecedented times many Americans are going through financial hardship due to sudden income/job loss. While government assistance has allowed for current relief of mortgage payments it is best to plan for the assistance to only be a temporary plan.
If you are currently having a difficult time paying your mortgage be sure to contact your lender directly to discuss whether forbearance is an option available to you. Hopefully, your lender will provide temporary assistance to help you get through your financial hardship the current pandemic may have caused.
After you’ve taken care of getting immediate assistance it is important to consider what your future financial situation will look like. If you feel that you will not be able to continue making payments in the future exploring your options to avoid foreclosure is a logical proactive step. We’ll take a look at a few of the options you can pursue to avoid foreclosure down the road.
Ultimately, the goal of these strategies is to avoid foreclosure and minimize the damage it can cause to your personal financial situation. While everyone’s situation is different hopefully you’ll find one these strategies to be the right fit for your situation.
Strategy #1: Work out a deal with your lender
The first strategy is called a “foreclosure workout”. In a foreclosure workout, you’ll sit down with your lender and tell them that you don’t think you can pay your current mortgage obligation but you’d like to figure something out so you can stay in your house and continue to pay your mortgage.
Contrary to popular belief, lenders don’t want to foreclose! They want happy customers who pay their mortgages, so lenders are often willing to work with homeowners to figure out a deal. This might include a temporary reprieve on your mortgage payments, or it might include a catch-up strategy where your outstanding mortgage payments are spread out so you can catch-up and pay them off, or it might include a restructuring of the outstanding amounts that you owe.
Strategy #2. Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy may seem like an extreme measure but it is one of the “tools” in your foreclosure avoidance toolbelt. When you file for bankruptcy, you indicate to all of your creditors that you are no longer able to pay your bills. Filing for bankruptcy will put a stop to the foreclosure process because all creditors must stop the collection process.
Filing for bankruptcy, though, is a little extreme: it may require you to sell off some of your assets in order to pay off your creditors. And, a bankruptcy will remain on your credit score for many years, which could impact everything from getting a loan to getting a car… even getting a job. So this shouldn’t be your first line of defense!
Strategy #3. Short sale help for a foreclosure in Chicago
A short sale is the third strategy — this is where you sell your home and put the proceeds of the sale toward the amount owing on your mortgage loan. A short sale is a preferred method for people facing foreclosure because it is proactive, fast, and very effective.
- It’s proactive, which means that you take matters into your own hands (that’s a major stress eliminator because so much of the stress of foreclosure comes from the process being completely out of your control).
- It’s fast — in some cases, you can sell your home in as little as a week! That’s also because it’s local: You can get help for foreclosure in Chicago since organizations like Blue Ladder Development help people going through short sales.
- It’s very effective because a short sale can completely wipe out (or almost wipe out) the amount owing on your mortgage. If there is any amount left over that is not covered by the sale of the property, you’ll be responsible for it (although you can sometimes work out a deal with your lender).
With a short sale, you still end up with the reality of having to leave your home but there is a bright side: The impact to your credit is much less (compared to a bankruptcy or a foreclosure) so this is a smart long-term play to give yourself some options.