What Does Intent to Foreclose Mean?

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An intent to foreclose is a notice you receive from your lender advising you that if you do not bring your mortgage current, the lender will file a foreclosure notice against your home. If you receive an intent to foreclose notice, you should contact your lender immediately. There are a large number of homes in foreclosure due to today's economy, but lenders do not want to take your home from you; they want the money that you owe on your loan.

Initial Action

  • Talk to your lender. Explain your current situation, including the reason you are behind in your mortgage payments. If you believe the situation is temporary, tell your lender when you expect that you will be able to resume payments. Ask your lender to delay foreclosure action until you can start to make payments again. If this is a reasonable period, there is a good chance that the lender will agree to postpone the foreclosure notice.

Loan Modification

  • If you have sufficient income to make your payments but are unable to catch up, ask your lender if you are qualified to receive a loan modification. The lender may consider adding the arrearages to the principle balance of your loan. That will make you current and give you a chance to remain current. If your payments are too high for you, it is possible that the loan modification will include a reduction in the interest rate on your loan or possibly extend the term of the loan so that your payments will be manageable.

Short Sale

  • If a loan modification is not possible and you do not believe you will be able to make reasonable payments, you should talk to a couple of real estate agents in your area and ask them to give you an estimate of the value of your home. If it is less than the amount of your mortgage plus any payments you owe, you should ask your lender if you could sell your home with a short sale. A short sale means the lender agrees to allow you to sell your home for less than your mortgage balance, so that it can avoid the expense and time involved in the foreclosure process. This will also give you more time to put away some money for moving expenses, etc.

Alternatives

  • If your lender will not agree to a short sale and you cannot come up with the money to bring your loan current, you may want to consider letting your home go into foreclosure. This will give you additional time to save some money. Once you receive a foreclosure notice, you have about four months before your home will be auctioned off. If you still need more time, you might consider filing for bankruptcy protection. If you do this just before the sale date, you will usually have about two more months before you will have to leave your home. Of course, you need to discuss this option with an attorney.

  • Photo Credit home 2 image by Stacey Lynn Payne from Fotolia.com
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