Right now, if you’re looking to workout a mortgage loan that has landed you in the foreclosure process, you have some options. In the future, you will have even more options as Congress passes bailout loans for people in foreclosure. The key is to understand your options and to get into the process early.
The minute you make a late payment on your mortgage that you know will continue over time, you should be on the phone talking to your lender and finding out about programs to help people obtain loans for people in foreclosure.
What Lenders Can Do
Lenders can help modify loans for people in foreclosures. If you have an adjustable rate mortgage, you may qualify to go into a fixed rate mortgage, and thus lower your payments and keep them steady. If you just missed a couple of payments, they can change the loan to make it current by either lengthening the term of your loan or tacking on extra payments at the end.
You might even qualify for a forbearance from the lender. Until you ask, you may not even know that there are options available to modify loans for people in foreclosure, if you just started being behind on your payments.
What Congress Might Do
Congress is trying to help get some monies available to help bail out loans for people in foreclosure by getting lenders to accept a write-down on the loan that is less than what they would lose if the house foreclosed. The write-down difference between the old loan and a new loan is then factored into the new terms of the loan to help people get more affordable payments together.
Unfortunately, the program is only expected to help 325,000 homeowners as the funds being discussed for loans for people in foreclosure are small. Despite the fact that there are nearly 3 million homeowners with subprime or risky mortgage terms facing potential foreclosure in the next few years, many of them will not qualify for these programs.
How To Get Ready
Things that can keep people from qualifying for loans for people in foreclosure can be second mortgages, inadequate income levels, poor credit history, or having to share some equity later with people helping to finance the bailout plan. You should try to negotiate with your lender and keep your debt levels as low as possible.
Try to maintain a good credit rating, and keep your employment steady. You can file Chapter 13 bankruptcy to help stall a foreclosure and buy time, but be sure to figure out how that might impact your chances to obtain one of the new bailout loans that may soon be available.