Finding Another Way: 4 Alternatives to Foreclosure

Getting behind on your mortgage is sometimes easier than you might think due to unemployment or unforeseen expenses that pop up. If you’re worried that you might lose your home to foreclosure, remember there are many options available to help you get caught up. If getting current on your mortgage is beyond reach, one of several solutions might work for you. Let’s explore 4 alternatives to foreclosure and some of the potential side effects they might have.

Refinancing/Loan Modification

Depending on how long you’ve been in your home and what its current value is, you may be able to refinance your existing loan. This process can take some time and requires a lot of paperwork. However, if you are able to lower your monthly payment as a result, it just might be worth it.

Some banks even offer the ability to roll your missed payments into the balance of the new loan through a loan modification. This allows you to start fresh with a new commitment and not have to worry about making up past due amounts. Remember, when you refinance, you are potentially starting over with a 30 year loan, depending on the terms your bank sets forth. If you’ve been in your home a long time, this might not be a good option for you.

Forbearance

This option freezes the clock on your mortgage and temporarily relieves you from making payments. While this allows the bank to show some sympathy for your financial situation, it doesn’t solve the problem entirely. Once you are required to begin making payments again, you will have to pay an additional amount to get caught up from the months you missed.

Forbearance might be a good way to stall the foreclosure process, but it doesn’t get to the root cause. If you don’t find a way to secure additional income or reduce your expenses, you might find yourself in the same situation in the future.

Bankruptcy

Sometimes the prospect of catching up on your loan is impossible, and rather than going through a formal foreclosure, some people find it works better for them to file for bankruptcy. This might be a good option if the problem is other debt, like credit cards or auto loans, and your inability to pay your mortgage wasn’t due to its high dollar amount.

Of course with bankruptcy, you run the risk of losing your home like you would in a foreclosure. What this option allows for is the ability to pause the foreclosure process and also rids you of other debt that might be hindering your ability to maintain your home.

Short Sale

If you’re in a position where you can’t make up your payments and maybe don’t qualify for help from the bank, you might find a short sale to be a more favorable option. Essentially, a short sale forces you to sell your home and in many cases can wipe your mortgage debt clean. It also has less of a chance of damaging your credit score. However, a short sale still doesn’t look good on a credit report and can take several years to recover from.

If you’re having a hard time catching up on your mortgage and are afraid of foreclosure, contact The Law Office of Ray Garcia. We can help evaluate your options and find a solution that works best for you both now and in the long run.