You might be up to date on payments for your Columbia, SC property now, but there are a few red flags that might indicate that you will need foreclosure help in the future. If you income is going to be significantly reduced; you have large upcoming expenses, or your option/adjustable rate mortgage is about to adjust to a high mortgage payment, you may need to think about what you can do to prevent foreclosure in the future.
At this point, you have a few options:
- Find a way to decrease your expenses or increase your income so that you can continue to pay off your Columbia, SC mortgage.
- Refinance the loan to a lower rate – if your Columbia, SC property is worth less than the mortgage, you may be able to get foreclosure help from federal relief programs like the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). Alternatively, you can look for relief programs for foreclosure help that are specific to Columbia, SC. This will allow you to:
- Refinance your primary loan
- Up your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio on the first loan by up to 125% of the property’s value.
- Modify your loan. In order to avoid foreclosure, your lender may agree to modify some or all of the terms of your loan. A loan modification is a negotiation between you and your lender, but the lender is not obligated to modify the loan for you or offer any other form of foreclosure help. Loan modification begins by contacting your mortgage company, discussing your problem, and proposing a solution that involves modifying the loan.
If you are late on your payments, the foreclosure process looks something like this:
- Up to 30 days late: you will receive a letter outlining what is owed, as well as any late fees that will need to be paid in order to settle your balance.
- 30-60 days late: at this point, you will receive a Mortgage Acceleration Letter or a Notice of Intent to Foreclose. These letters will demand that the outstanding loan payments – as well as any late penalties – are paid in full. If you do not pay at this point, the lender may begin foreclosure proceedings.
- 2-6 months late: unless you have made contact with the lender in order to discuss your circumstances or arrange a payment plan, the lender will now file a Notice of Default. This is a foreclosure document that will be publicly recorded.
- 6+ months late: if you still have not paid or discussed payment with the lender, they will then make a Notice of Sale, which states the date on which the house will be auctioned off at a Trustee Sale in Columbia, SC.
Alternatives to foreclosure
Right up until you receive a Notice of Sale, there are many other options that you can take to avoid foreclosure. The earlier on in the foreclosure process you are, the more options will be available to you. The lender is also much more likely to be willing to offer foreclosure help in the earlier stages of foreclosure, so you may be able to make a deal with them in order to avoid foreclosure.
Read our article here to find out what your options are for avoiding foreclosure. For now though, here is a brief summary:
- Full reinstatement
- Repayment plan
- Loan modification
- Declaring bankruptcy
If foreclosure is inevitable, you can always sell your home! Rather than waiting until your home is seized, you may be able to sell it and use the funds accrued to cover your mortgage debt. If you’re wondering “but how can I sell my house fast enough to avoid foreclosure?”, look no further…
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