You may be contacted by people who will tell you that they can save your house. Be very careful about these plans, as most are scams and frauds. Avoid them.
Question - Is It Worth Saving?
The first consideration is whether it is worth the effort to save the home? Is the home worth more than what is owed? If not, it may not make sense to take action. Can you make the mortgage payments and pay the real estate taxes? If you can't, it may not make sense to invest time and money in saving the property.
Consult With The Experts
ATTORNEY: Once you have decided to investigate the possibility of saving your home, the absolute first action to take is to consult an experienced mortgage defense attorney to consider your options. Gather up your loan documents, along with your payment history and all correspondence with the lender or its attorney, and take it to the attorney. ACCOUNTANT: Also, check with your tax preparer or an accountant so that you know the tax effects of a foreclosure, bankruptcy, short sale or other course of action. GOVERNMENT AGENCIES: In order to educate yourself as to the relevant laws and latest government programs, check with State of Wisconsin and U.S. government agencies such as: Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA)
1-800-334-6873, www.wheda.com or www.wisconsinforeclosureresource.com; Hope NOW 1-888-995-HOPE or www.995hope.org; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 1-800-569-4287 or www.hud.gov/foreclosure.
Choose To Pursue One Or More Options
No. 1 - Negotiate With Your Lender - While this is almost always a burdensome task, if you are successful, it is oftentimes the best alternative.
No. 2 - Litigate - Have your attorney review your loan packages for possible Predatory Lending, Truth in Lending Act, or other claims and for possible defenses.
No. 3 - Find a White Knight - Maybe you have a friend or relative who is willing and able to purchase your home and rent it back to you until you can finance a repurchase.
No. 4 - Short Sale - In a short sale, the property is sold for less than what is owed to the lender. Make sure the lender forgives that deficiency.
No. 5 - File a Bankruptcy - Filing a Chapter 7 will only delay the foreclosure, but you will discharge any deficiency. A Chapter 13 will allow you to force a reinstatement of the mortgage by catching up the payments over time and perhaps litigate claims against your lender.
Expect to pay reasonable attorney fees if you hire a lawyer. Attorneys' fees vary by the attorney's experience and may differ depending on your location in the state. Discuss fees up front and if you cannot afford the proposed fee arrangement, tell the attorney what you can afford. It may be possible to come to an agreement that works for all.
There are several courses of action to consider when facing mortgage foreclosure. You may take one course or another, or you may take several courses simultaneously. The main thing to do is to face the foreclosure as soon as possible and consult professionals.
Additional resources provided by the author
Foreclosure Resources for Consumers: http://www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/foreclosure.htm