12/14/2017

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Is Your Property In Foreclosure?
by John M. Roberts

Many homeowners are finding themselves in a quandary as the economy shrinks into a state of recession. When they bought their homes, they took out loans that did not conform with their incomes and/or took loans that had adjustable interest rates, making it hard, or in many cases, virtually impossible to make their monthly mortgage payments.

Added to the mix of other factors such as layoffs, high gas prices, inflated food costs, bank failures, huge losses in the stock market, and the loss of money in 401k plans and other investment vehicles, it is no wonder that many homeowners are worried about the future.

The housing market has taken a nosedive in recent months and property values have declined, making it difficult for people to meet current housing costs, to refinance crippling loans, or to market their homes for sale.

In this type of economic climate, what is a homeowner, whose property is in foreclosure, to do? Many people have decided that it already too late for them and they have walked away from their homes. Many others have filed for bankruptcy to get to buy a little time to sort out their options, only to find that they never really had an option.

Although the federal government was slow to recognize what was going on in the housing and financial markets, it has finally stepped up to the plate and allocated money to help those who have hung in there long enough to benefit from the help. The government is currently working actively with lenders to decrease the number of homes that are close to or already in default.

Right now, there is a glimmer of hope for many homeowners who are nearly stressed to the breaking point. Congress recently passed the Loan Modification Act of 2008 which gives relief to certain homeowners who find themselves unable to pay their mortgages. This has come as a welcome turn of events for those who have the income to continue making their payments.

The Loan Modification Act of 2008 grants a safety net for holders of mortgages who enter into loan modifications or workout agreements with troubled borrowers and clarifies the responsibilities of and provides protection from legal liability for mortgage servicers who help troubled borrowers remain in their homes.

Although many people have already lost their homes to foreclosure in the past 2 to 3 years, there are many more who are hanging on and with a little help, they will be able to keep their homes.

If your home is in foreclosure, the best thing to do is call your lender and talk to them about modifying your loan to a payment that you can handle. There are currently several home saver programs available that are being offered by banks, savings and loan associations, and mortgage companies.

If modifying your loan is not possible, you may be able to work out a short sale agreement with your lender, especially if the property can be sold for close to the amount that is owed on the balance of the loan.

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