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Avoiding Home Foreclosure

Teetering on the edge of foreclosure can be an unsettling experience, to say the least, but you have options to avoid it:

Loan modification: Most lending institutions are open to changing the terms of your loan to make it more manageable. Foreclosure doesn't benefit either party.

Repayment plan: If you are behind on mortgage payments, many lenders are willing to offer a repayment plan that enables you to make up missed payments gradually, not in one fell swoop.

Forbearance arrangement: If you financial difficulties are temporary in nature, a lender may agree to this process. The mortgage payer is granted a 3-6 month reprieve from payments. After this period, the payer resumes payments, plus some extra to make up for the skipped payments.

Refinancing: If the current mortgage rate is below what you're paying, your rate can be readjusted through financing to lower your payments.

Short sale: If you owe more money than what your home is currently worth, short selling may be an option. With the lender's permission, you sell your home at market value and the lender writes off the remaining debt. You avoid foreclosure, take less of a credit-score hit, and gracefully transition to more affordable housing.

Reamortization: A new loan is issued with a new time frame, with missing payments being added back to the loan.

Declaring bankruptcy: depending on the timing and circumstances, Chapter 7 may delay foreclosure proceedings and wipe out credit-card and other unsecured debt, freeing up mortgage funds. Chapter 13 can buy you time to make payments and might lower other secured debt payments.

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