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  • Tips For Avoiding Foreclosure

    [caption id="attachment_5316" align="alignleft" width="241" caption="Home Foreclosure"]Foreclosure [/caption]

    Take a look at some of these tips for avoiding foreclosure, courtesy of This Old House:

    1. Do your homework. Housing advocates say the reason many homeowners end up in unaffordable loans is that they either did not understand the terms of their loans or were duped by predatory lenders. "A good portion of the people we see are folks who received loans they never should have gotten in the first place," says Phyllis Salowe-Kaye of Citizen Action, the largest mortgage-crisis counseling agency in New Jersey. If you were uninformed when you got your mortgage, make sure that you don't repeat the mistake now. For basic advice about refinancing, consult the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Many states have also posted advice for distressed homeowners on their attorney general, banking department, or housing finance agency websites.

    2. Call your lender while your head is still above water. If your credit has already tanked, you will lose negotiating power. Also, new programs to head off foreclosure target people who don’t yet have a credit problem. Under the recently announced Project Lifeline, for example, six major lenders—Bank of America, Citigroup, Countrywide Financial, JP Morgan Chase, Washington Mutual, and Wells Fargo—have agreed to suspend the foreclosure process for 30 days for qualified borrowers with decent credit ratings who are seeking to keep their homes.

    3. Open all mail from the bank. Some subprime lenders, like Washington Mutual, are calling or writing ARM customers six or more months before a reset to offer assistance.

    Read more at This Old House

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