Friday, August 14, 2009

Can Private Companies Legitimately Help You Prevent Foreclosure?

Do legitimate companies exist that can really help homeowners prevent foreclosure and assist them in keeping their homes? The short answer is “yes.” However, although many legitimate companies can provide much needed help to prevent foreclosure, there is a darker side to this industry led by unscrupulous investors looking to profit by taking advantage of unsuspecting and desperate homeowners.
The homeowner looking for help must find the legitimate business who can keep them in their homes without losing it and the shirt off their backs. What homeowners need to avoid is the company who sails in with promises to save them from foreclosure by “selling” their home and leasing it back. In this scenario, a homeowner gives the home’s title to the company who either pays off the homeowner’s mortgage company, or assumes the mortgage with new terms. After about a year, the worst “angel” companies will increase rents higher than the homeowner’s actual mortgage payment – and the homeowner ends up losing the home anyway.
Mortgage Restructure Good foreclosure specialist companies should be able to help homeowners work with their lenders to find a solution that prevents foreclosure and allows them to keep their home with new affordable mortgage terms. This may mean brokering a mortgage modification that reduces the monthly mortgage payment by reducing interest, lengthening the term, or a combination of both.
In some extreme cases, such as job loss or high medical bills, a homeowner may even get forbearance on mortgage payments for a limited time. Forbearance is an agreement that allows the homeowner to stop paying the monthly mortgage for about three to six months. However, expect to give a foreclosure specialist some compensation for their role. Homeowners may end up paying a large fee up front for services, or even grant partial ownership in their homes to the specialist.
Short Sale If a homeowner’s situation just doesn’t allow for a restructuring of the mortgage and foreclosure is eminent, a foreclosure specialist company can work with the mortgage company to get them agreeable to a “short sale.” A short sale occurs when the home is sold for less than what is owed on a mortgage, and the mortgage company writes off the outstanding balance. Lenders who wish to avoid the extreme cost of foreclosure may be receptive to this option. Though homeowners may end up paying a fee to the foreclosure specialist, they can successfully sell the home and walk away without the mark of a foreclosure on their credit.
Mortgage Reinstatement If a homeowner can find a good foreclosure specialist group, they may agree to pay all mortgage payments in default, as well as all late fees and additional interest. The homeowner can then resume their normal mortgage payment without fear of foreclosure. However, though they save their home, homeowners face stiff interest and potential large payouts to the ‘angel.’ Payment plans can be reasonable from reputable foreclosure specialists, and it is critical that homeowners know beforehand what terms are required. This article is intended for general information. Always seek sound financial and legal advice before making any financial decision.

Author: Patricia Payne

Low cost attorney to prevent foreclosure

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