Six Ways to Delay Home Foreclosure

Thousands of Americans are facing the same daunting inevitability: home foreclosure. Despite a small decrease in unemployment and whispers of economic improvement, many families are still finding it difficult to make ends meet. When you know home foreclosure waits in your future, you also know that options are limited. While you may have accepted that it’s time to give up on your mortgage, making plans and finding another place to live is a different story. Although home foreclosure is certain when you can’t pay your mortgage, the time for eviction is not. Follow the tips below to delay the process for as long as possible; the extra time could help you regain some footing.

  1. Ask for a continuance. You need more time, so ask for it. Once foreclosure proceedings have begun, you have the right to ask the court for a 60-day grace period before going to court. Submit your request in writing as soon as you receive legal notice from your lender. The court may not give in, but you lose nothing by trying.
  2. Challenge the appraisal. If your case has been reviewed in court and foreclosure is looming, a last-minute delay exists in the appraisal process. In the final weeks of home foreclosure, your county sheriff will arrive to appraise the property in order to decide the auction value. If you believe the price is too low, voice your concerns and ask for a second opinion. Not only could a reappraisal help you make cover the remainder of your mortgage, it will buy you more time.
  3. Find a consumer advocate. Non-profit organizations and consumer advocacy groups are skilled at handling home foreclosure issues. Find a reputable organization in your area and ask for help. They may be able to appeal to the court to give you more time, especially if you have children. While they cannot save your home, they could help you borrow a few extra weeks.
  4. Challenge lender jurisdiction. Attorneys across the country have helped clients delay home foreclosure on the basis of jurisdiction. If you lender’s headquarters is located in another state, your attorney could argue for a federal court filing in lieu of a state bankruptcy case. While this strategy is not 100 percent effective, it could force your lender to withdraw their foreclosure petition and re-file in federal court.
  5. Challenge lender language. Mortgage documents encompass large and complicated amounts of information, some of which may be erroneous. If you are desperate, ask your attorney to audit the language carefully and look for errors that could benefit your case. Although it will not save your home, finding fault with even a small portion could reduce your mortgage price and delay the foreclosure date.
  6. File for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Although bankruptcy should be considered a last resort, its protections can offer much-needed relief to struggling households. Chapter 7 will not save your home, but it will halt foreclosure proceedings for up to three months (or until your case is reviewed by a judge). If you cannot pay your mortgage and your other assets are limited, Chapter 7 may be the best solution.

Eviction is a grueling and emotional time for homeowners. While you may feel helpless, participating in the process can help you take control of when it will occur. Be proactive and look for ways to lengthen the time you have left as an owner; it could make a world of difference.

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