NBC 5 morning anchor Stefan Holt interviews an expert who offers some tips if you're having trouble paying your mortgage.
IFPN Homeowner Foreclosure Prevention Tip Sheet
1. Don’t ignore the problem. The further behind you become, the harder it will be to reinstate your loan because you’ll have fewer options and the more likely that you will lose your house.
2. Act fast, even if you are not in foreclosure yet. If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, or had a reduction in income or expect an income reduction soon, find free relief now so you are not stretching, don’t wait until you’ve exhausted all of your savings.
3. Visit the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN) website to find free housing counselor—www.keepyourhomeillinois.org or call the IFPN hotline at 1-855-KEEP-411 (1-855-533-7411). Foreclosure counseling more than doubles a homeowner’s chance of receiving a loan modification and reduces the likelihood of re-default by 67%.
4. Attend a free, foreclosure prevention workshop like the IFPN Keep Your Home Illinois event in Berwyn March 31. On-site resources can help you whether you are in foreclosure or just struggling to pay your mortgage.
5. Open and respond to all mail from your lender. The first notices you receive will offer good information about foreclosure prevention options that can help you. Your failure to open the mail will not delay or stop the foreclosure process.
6. Know your mortgage rights. Find your loan documents and read them so you know what your lender may do if you can’t make your payments.
7. Understand foreclosure prevention options. Valuable information can be found online. Visit the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network website at www.keepyourhomeillinois.org.
8. Avoid so-called foreclosure prevention companies. Never pay a fee for foreclosure prevention help—use that money to pay the mortgage instead and find a FREE qualified housing counselor by calling 1-855-KEEP-411.
9. Never sign a legal document without reading and understanding all the terms and getting professional advice from a housing counselor. If you sign a document appointing someone else to act on your behalf, you may be signing over the title to your property and becoming a renter in your own home!
10. Maintain a household budget. A budget helps you recognize problems before they arise, and you can then change your commitments and behavior to prevent them. A housing counselor can help with this.