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8 Ways to Stop a Foreclosure Process

8 Ways to Stop a Foreclosure Process

The default in a mortgage payment can sometimes be unavoidable due to various circumstances. The homeowner might have lost their job or they might have spent their allotted mortgage payment on other pressing expenses. If the homeowner has missed several payments without contacting their lending company, they might have to face foreclosure.

However, there are several ways to avoid going through the foreclosure process. Even if the homeowner cannot actually pay the debt, they can still find ways to prevent the foreclosure of their home, since this would heavily impact their credit rating, and it prevents them from buying another property for the next 5 to 7 years. The debtor can also appeal for an extension of their payment schedule until they get back on their feet.

Read on to learn more about how you can stop foreclosure proceedings from pushing through if it happens to you.

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1. Negotiate with Lender

Before any of the drastic foreclosure process begins, the homeowner’s first option is to talk to their lender. They can agree on the possibility of restructuring their debt. The homeowner can explain their circumstances and the reason why they defaulted on their payment, and the lender might provide the homeowner with certain allowances that would make the terms of the mortgage payment easier and more attainable.

2. File for Bankruptcy

If the homeowner[1] does not have the means to pay for their mortgage and other debts, they can file for bankruptcy, so that the government can prevent their creditors from coming after them. Technically, the debt of the homeowner still exists, but it gives them the time to get back on their feet and find ways to pay their debt again. Moreover, the homeowner and the creditors should devise a reasonable plan that is beneficial to all the parties regarding the repayment of the existing debts.

3. Foreclosure Relief Programs

There are programs implemented by the government that help homeowners prevent the foreclosure of their homes, like the Making Home Affordable Program.[2] This benefit is afforded to chosen homeowners who have defaulted on the payment of their mortgages, so that they can avoid foreclosure of their property. If the homeowner is unemployed, they can apply for the Home Affordable Unemployment Program or the FHA Special Forbearance, which provide assistance to the homeowner for up to twelve months.

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4. Loan Refinancing

If it is possible, the debtor can look at taking out a second loan to finance the first loan they have missed. Since the remaining mortgage length is shorter and the unpaid balance is smaller, the monthly payment on the second loan could possibly be lower. The homeowner can look around for the best possible loan option, or they can ask their original lender if they can refinance the loan. It is vital to take care of all the paperwork before the actual foreclosure process begins to prevent the foreclosure sale from pushing through.

5. Lease Assumption

Another option that the homeowner can look at if they want to stop the foreclosure process is to have someone assume the lease. Tara-Nicholle Nelson describes the lease-assumption scenario in this manner: “In a lease-option scenario, the buyer becomes your tenant, and you continue owning the property until the buyer has saved enough down payment money, improved their credit sufficiently or sold their other home.”

She also provides tips on how to effectively use the lease-option to halt the foreclosure process: “To successfully use a lease-option to stop the foreclosure process, you must negotiate lease payments that cover most or all of your mortgage payment, property tax, and insurance obligations — enough that you can make up any difference and still pay to live somewhere else.”[3]

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6. Deed in Lieu

The credit rating of the homeowner will be affected if the foreclosure processes pushes through. However, they have another course of action in the form of a deed in lieu. This would not damage their credit score as badly as the actual foreclosure proceeding, since the homeowner would be transferring the ownership of the property to the lender. The lender and the homeowner would sign an agreement that relieves the debtor of his entire obligation to the creditor.

7. Deed for Lease

Once the deed in lieu has been signed, the buyer has the option to rent back their home, which is called the deed for lease. This means that the lender has consented to allowing the homeowner to stay in the property as a renter for a specified period of time. The deed in lieu has already prevented the foreclosure from transpiring and the deed for leases just gives the lender the right to become the sole administrator of the debtor’s new lease.

8. Short Sale

If the homeowner receives an offer on the home while they are in the middle of the foreclosure process, the lender is bound to consider it. The homeowner can sell the property at a price that is higher than their debt so that they can clear themselves from the contractual obligations. Moreover, short sales would not affect the debtor’s credit score if the lender does not report the sale in a soft market to credit monitoring agencies. This can also allow the debtor to purchase another home in two years.

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If the homeowner is looking to sell their house quickly, there are several online sites, like needtosellmyhousefast.com,[4] that can cater to the debtor’s immediate need. One of my friends was struggling with paying the mortgage on his house, and he decided to sell his house, so he tried posting on this site and he got an instant offer on his property. Moreover, he got a fairly reasonable price for that deal.

In conclusion, there are ways to avoid going through the foreclosure process. The reasons for non-payment can be fortuitous and unavoidable, but the homeowner should make it a point to reach out to their lender before it is too late. You might be able to negotiate the terms of your loan with the lender, and you can save yourself the trouble of having to find another home.

Reference

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Abhay Jeet Mishra

Writer at Lifehack & Enterested.com

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Last Updated on September 2, 2020

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Personal finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. That’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

In this article, we will explore ways to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task, if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps to get you started.

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream, and this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore, if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it’s for. It could be anything, including your child’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car, etc.

Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

2. Keep Goals Realistic

It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a Pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

3. Account for Inflation

Ronald Reagan once said: “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

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4. Short Term Vs Long Term

Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach to achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It’s important to bifurcate goals into short-term and long-term.

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a short-term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long-term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short-term vs long-term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

By now, you should be ready with your list of financial goals. Now, it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-step process:

  • Ensuring healthy savings
  • Making smart investments

You will need to save enough and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self-realization is the best form of realization, and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

1. Track Expenses

The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

Also categorize those expenses into different buckets so that you know which bucket is eating most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pumping up your savings rate.

If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

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Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world, i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and manage all the expenses from the rest.

The best way to actually implement this is to put the savings on automatic mode, i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc) every month.

Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely, but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options, and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

4. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that, in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

Make savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

  • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
  • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
  • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

The key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice, which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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5. Talk About It

Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission.

Therefore, in order to stay the course, surround yourself with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

6. Maintain a Journal

For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

If you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energized to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot easier for you to track your progress.

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

1. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s wise to consult a financial advisor.

Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings, and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

Just like “no one is born a criminal,” no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference[2].

As a general rule, for all your short-term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature, for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds, etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less compared to equity instruments.

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3. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

Einstein once remarked about compounding:

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.”

Use compound interest when setting financial goals

    Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

    Start saving early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

    4. Measure, Measure, Measure

    All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

    If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

    Measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

    The Bottom Line

    Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

    and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

    More Tips on Financial Goals

    Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

    Reference

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