Refinancing Your Home to Stop Foreclosure

Refinancing Your Home to Stop Foreclosure

Most available information on stopping foreclosures includes refinancing your mortgage as an option. Well, how true is that?

Let’s face it. Most people going through foreclosure do not contact their lender until it’s too late. For some reason, they believe the problem will somehow disappear. Unfortunately, by the time the homeowner responds to the foreclosure notices, they are several months behind in mortgage payments. Most banks will not refinance the homeowner if they are not current on their existing mortgage, which doesn’t make refinancing a viable solution. Or, so one would think.

There is no magical solution to stopping foreclosure. It is a difficult thing to do especially if the homeowner does not have the money to bring their mortgage current. Unfortunately, when it comes to stopping a foreclosure, mortgage brokers will say exactly what the homeowner wants to hear. The end result is typically wasted time, which is something the homeowner does not need. Depending on state laws and the lender, the homeowner has approximately 6 to 8 months from their last payment until they lose their home in a foreclosure sale.

One may ask, why would a mortgage broker waste a homeowner’s time if they know they are not current on mortgage payments? Isn’t their payment history reported to the credit bureaus? And, don’t they request a copy of their credit report? The answer is yes to both. However, the simple truth is that a lot of mortgage companies are only looking to collect applications. Some, not all, are graded based on the number of leads they generate within a given month. Regardless of the final outcome, the homeowner is still considered a lead, which looks favorable to management.

Unfortunately for the homeowner, by the time they are done, a month or two has been lost wishing for something that would never happen.

In some cases, these same mortgage companies will collect upfront fees, knowing the homeowner won’t be approved. They will pretend to work on the file once the fee is collected only to reject the application soon afterwards. Again, they will say whatever the homeowner wants to hear; thus, taking advantage of their desperate situation while profiting at the same time.

Well then, who can refinance as a way to avoid foreclosure? Generally speaking, no one unless the homeowner acts fast before they are several months behind in mortgage payments and have sufficient income to pay the new loan. The closer the homeowner gets to the foreclosure date, the less likely the lender will work with them, and the chances of refinancing diminish greatly.

Don’t be disappointed because all hope is not lost. the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a program that will make a one-time loan equal to the homeowner’s past due mortgage payments. It’s a special program only for homeowners who have an FHA-insured loan. These loans are zero-interest loans with no monthly payments. They are paid in full when the homeowner refinances or sells their home. Please check HUD’s website. Search “Foreclosure” for more information. Their guidelines and programs often change depending on current need.

There are other types of lenders called hard money lenders, who are private investors that will loan money without any underwriting guidelines. These loans are for short periods and cost considerably more than traditional loans. However, it may help in the interim by stopping the foreclosure. If a homeowner goes this route, make sure they completely understand the terms especially the new monthly mortgage payment, interest rate, and the amount of points that will be paid upfront or on the backend. Also, the new payment could be more than the current one.

Perhaps, a better option to refinancing is to have a friend or a relative purchase the home and lease it back to the homeowner. This way they will not have the expensive fees associated with a hard money lender and the friend or relative will be more forgiving and sympathetic to their situation than a bank or an investor. A variation to the above is to include the homeowner’s name on the deed as well.

In summary, act quickly, consider your refinance options, and don’t waste time with mortgage lenders who will give you the runaround. Also, whatever the refinancing option, the homeowner must have sufficient income to pay the new mortgage payment or the lender will deny the application.

Avoid Foreclosure Hell eBook is for immediate download at It is an excellent resource for solutions to stopping foreclosures.

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