Three habits to start during the foreclosure process
Going through foreclosure is a tough experience, but these three suggested habits can make it easier.
Becoming past due on your mortgage can result in the lender starting a foreclosure action. There are many reasons that this happens to homeowners, including unemployment, underemployment, divorce, medical issues or loss of a spouse or partner. When any of these issues occur and income is lost, it often means falling behind on the mortgage payments. This is a stressful time, but there are several habits to start that can help:
- Retain and open all correspondence and talk to the lender. This may sound simple, but sometimes when you’re struggling to pay the mortgage, the instinct is to ignore mail from your lender or the attorneys working for your lender. If it’s not opened, you think nothing bad will happen. The truth is completely the opposite. The mail received from your lender or their appointed attorneys is to help keep you informed of what’s happening with your mortgage. Learn more about the foreclosure process.
- Be proactive and ask for help. Some of the mail you will receive during this time will be from companies or individuals who want you to pay them to help with your mortgage delinquency. However, you do not have to pay to receive professional assistance to help save your home. HUD certified housing counselors are available to provide counseling and assistance at no cost. Housing counselors can help you understand and navigate the foreclosure process and possibly help save your home. The sooner you ask for assistance, the better the chance at resolving your delinquency and retaining your home
- Take care of yourself and your family’s health. The reasons leading up to and during the mortgage delinquency and foreclosure process can be extremely stressful. It’s important to take care of your health, both mentally and physically. Whether this means talking to a counselor or therapist or finding some other outlet for the stress, it’s critical to have an outlet for yourself and your family.
Following these three steps won’t guarantee that you can save your home from foreclosure, but not taking these steps may guarantee that you lose your home. Falling behind on mortgage payments can happen to anyone, but taking action to resolve the delinquency means following these simple steps.
Michigan State University Extension has released a new toolkit for homeowners who are experiencing or have previously experienced foreclosure. This toolkit will equip these individuals and families with tools to help them recover their financial stability, in the case that a recovery of their home is not possible. The toolkit is available to download free at MIMoneyHealth.org.
MSU Extension offers financial literacy and homeownership workshops throughout the year to help you become financially healthy. For more information of classes in your area, go to either http://msue.anr.msu.edu/events or www.mimoneyhealth.org. Additionally, you can take the Financial Health Survey at MI Money Health to access if you’re financially healthy and discover more ways you can improve your financial health.