Foreclosure Q and A's: Staying Informed

Q: What does it mean to be in foreclosure? 

A: According to dictionary.com, to foreclose is to deprive 
(you) the mortgagor of the right to redeem mortgaged 
property, when payments have not been made. When you have 
missed two months worth of payments you have defaulted on 
your loan, but you are not yet in foreclosure. The 
foreclosure proceedings will not initiate until the mortgage 
lender or bank submits paper work to a prosecuting attorney. 

Q: What are my options? 

A: Once the mortgage lender sends letters informing you of 
the Foreclosure it is important that you keep your head up; 
find a way to fix things. Immediately start considering your 
options of another loan, refinancing, etc. On the other 
hand, if you know you are in over your head then selling is 
always an option. To keep from falling deep into the 
foreclosure process it is really important to weigh out your 
options, looking at your finances and what you can afford in 
the future.  

Q: Who do I turn to? 

A: You can talk to your mortgage lender about your options 
with payments adjustments, another loan, etc. If you decide 
to sell the house, there are always local investors who can 
help you get your feet back on the ground. If you decide to 
sell your home make sure you are getting help from credible 
sources and of course don't ever sign anything before 
reading it.  

Q: If I am in foreclosure, how much time do I have until I 
have to leave the house?  

A: Laws vary from state to state; in states like Georgia a 
foreclosure house for sale is advertised to the public only 
seven days after being filed. However in other states, the 
house is not publicly advertised until the 130th day of the 
foreclosure process. If you look online or go to the library 
and look up your state legislature, you will find a slue of 
detailed statutes. Do some research so you know exactly what 
timeline you are dealing with, but the bottom line is to act 
as quickly and wisely as possible.  

Q: Does the lender have the right to repossess my house, 
even though I have been paying for it all this time?  

A: Unfortunately, yes. Even though you only missed those few 
payments and had paid so many others, the mortgage documents 
or deed of trust (depending if you live in a judicial or 
non-judicial state) gives the lender the right to foreclose 
and repossess the property after you have defaulted on 
payments for a certain length of time.  

Q: What is refinancing and how can it help me out of 
foreclosure?  

A: By refinancing you are essentially taking another loan. 
The new loan is based off a new appraisal of your property. 
One benefits of refinancing is that you can sometimes get a 
lower interest rate, in turn, decreasing your monthly 
mortgage rate. However, refinancing is not for everyone. It 
can also put you at higher risk for foreclosure depending on 
a number of factors. Really do some research and talk to 
someone who can advise you well on this option.  

Q: If I lose my house in foreclosure are my chances of 
buying again lessened?  

A: If you apply for a loan on another house your past 
foreclosure will show in your credit history. This does not 
mean you will not qualify for a loan; however you are less 
likely to receive, for instance, a low down payment loan. It 
is very important to stay informed and knowledgeable in how 
to stop the Foreclosure before it happens. There are people 
who are willing to take the time and help.  

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