If you’re having trouble making your mortgage payments each month, the possibility of the lender foreclosing on your home might have crossed your mind. Do you have questions about the foreclosure process? Who should answer your foreclosure questions?
You might think turning to your family and friends to get information about the foreclosure process, but they may not be the best choice.
“If they don’t know, then it’s a lot of misinformation going around in a circle,” says Robin Stout Migala, a senior delinquency resolutions manager at Freddie Mac, a quasi-governmental organization that buys mortgages.
Even though they might not have useful information, 14 percent of people who were late in making a payment turned to family and friends for advice, according to a 2007 Freddie Mac foreclosure survey.
If you know someone who is “knowledgeable and objective,” that’s a different story, says Dick Lepre, a San Francisco-based mortgage loan officer. Someone knowledgeable about foreclosure questions has probably either gone through it or works in the foreclosure or mortgage industries.
Some people search the Internet for answers to their foreclosure questions. One in four delinquent borrowers looks first to the Internet, according to Freddie Mac, which is up 92 percent since 2005. But Internet searches may also lead to misinformation.
Ultimately, you want to contact your lender if you have foreclosure questions and are worried that you can’t make your payments. Nearly 75 percent of people facing foreclosure contact their lender, according to Freddie Mac.
But you probably want to be informed first. Try asking an impartial third party your foreclosure questions – like a non-profit consumer credit counseling agency, an attorney who specializes in foreclosure, the federal HOPE hotline (888-995-HOPE) or a Department of Housing and Urban Development counselor (800-569-4287).
If you don’t know where to start, talk to the foreclosure specialist or HUD housing counselor about what your situation is – have you lost your job or faced big medical bills? Is your home now worth less than the mortgage? What are your goals? Do you want to keep the home or sell it?
Once your foreclosure questions have been answered you will have a better idea of what your options are and how to proceed.
For more information, check out our other stories on foreclosure at ThinkGlink.com.
Feb. 5, 208.