With millions of Americans suddenly out of work, a lot of people are worried about losing their homes. Fortunately, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has issued a temporary order prohibiting foreclosures on homes.
Still, no one knows how long the order will last. It may take a while for the economy to bounce back, and many people are going to continue to have trouble making their mortgage payments in the months ahead.
There are a number of actions homeowners can take if they run into financial difficulties and want to avoid losing their homes through foreclosure. Some of the most common are: requesting special forbearance; requesting a mortgage modification; and requesting a partial claim through the U.S. Federal Housing Administration.
Special forbearance and mortgage modification are two ways of rearranging the terms of a home loan. While mortgage lenders want to make back their money, in many cases they find that it is just good business to work with a borrower to make a loan more manageable when times are tough, as opposed to going through the complicated process of seizing the home through foreclosure. However, it isn’t always easy to get lenders to agree to new terms. It can be a good idea to seek out help from an attorney who can give homeowners advice and, if necessary, handle the negotiations necessary for altering the loan.
Another way to stop foreclosure is through filing for personal bankruptcy. Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy place an immediate hold on nearly all types of debt collection actions, including those for mortgage payments. This can give the homeowner time to work out a new repayment plan, or to liquidate other assets in the hopes of saving the home.
Financial troubles can be frightening, stressful and overwhelming, but it’s important for homeowners to know that they have options. Perhaps the most important thing for homeowners is to get started early. Those who fear losing their homes to foreclosure can seek out help as soon as possible from an attorney with experience in debt relief and foreclosure defense.