With millions of homes across the country going into foreclosure, it’s important for homeowners to understand how the pre-foreclosure process works.
So What is a Pre-Foreclosure Anyway?
Many homeowners across America and Atlanta face difficulties making their monthly mortgage payments.
If a homeowner misses 3-6 months of mortgage payments, the lending institution may issue a warning notifying the homeowner to pay the amount due. Then they may begin foreclosure proceedings to try and take the house back. This period is known as “pre-foreclosure.”
Foreclosure is what happens when the home goes up for auction on the courthouse steps. In Georgia, the auction occurs the first Tuesday of every month at 10 am.
Banks and mortgage lenders typically provide three months for the homeowner to bring their payments current, but of course this number can vary by bank and situation.
If a homeowner fails to make the necessary payments or work out a plan, the bank will foreclose on the home and evict the homeowner. Thankfully, during the pre-foreclosure stage, the homeowner still has a few options and some time to keep the house from progressing to the auction.
Pre-foreclosure Options for Borrowers
If you’re behind on mortgage payments, you’re likely to receive a “notice of default” from your mortgage lender.
This document will state that you have not made mortgage payments for the last 90-180 days. If you receive a notice of default, it’s important to stay calm and, most importantly, get on the phone with your lender. They are almost definitely going to be calling you, so answer it and talk to them.
Believe it or not, the lender doesn’t want to foreclose on your home. They don’t want the house, and they don’t want to go through the process. They want you to keep your home!
Options to Delay or Avoid Foreclosure
- Refinance – If your mortgage is “above water,” (meaning you have equity in your house) you may be able to refinance your mortgage and make lower monthly payments. Check with your local Atlanta mortgage broker… or contact us and we can connect you with a reputable one.
- Sell Your Home for Cash – You may be able to quickly sell your home to a real estate investor that’s reputable in Decatur like us at Homeowner Help Today. We can buy your Decatur area home quickly, often in just a week or two, will pay in cash, and get that weight off your shoulders.
- Short Sale – The lender may permit a short sale on the home. In a short sale, you’ll sell your home for less than it’s worth, and the bank will take the loss as a tax write-off. In some short sales you may still be required to pay the difference to the bank if the house doesn’t sell for what is owed on the loan, but not always. A short sale will save your credit as well – a huge advantage over foreclosure or bankruptcy. We can help you understand how to request and get started on the short sale process.
- Declare Bankruptcy – Bankruptcy can buy you time to pay off your debt, but should be thought of as a last resort. This can do significant, long-lasting damage to your credit.
Lenders are very much aware of the widespread financial troubles across the country and they’re very willing to work with homeowners during the pre-foreclosure stage. Foreclosures are not good for them either because then they have assets that are not “performing” (i.e. they are not making money). So, believe me, they want to work with you.
If you want to keep your home, the most important thing to do is communicate with your lender, work with them, and keep your house out of foreclosure. They will ask for a lot of documents, so get your bank statements and tax returns ready.
A foreclosure can cause a massive hit to your credit report and prevent you from getting a loan of any sort for many years afterwards, so it’s important not to take it lightly. There are many options out there to help, and that’s why we are here.
If you’re in the pre-foreclosure stage… you’ve still got time to fix this situation, but not much. Georgia is a Non-Judicial foreclosure state, meaning the process goes much faster than other states (like Florida) that have a Judicial foreclosure process.
Connect with your bank to see if they’re willing to work with you… or contact us and we’ll be happy to help. We can even get on the phone with your bank with you to help you evaluate your options.
We want you to keep your home if you want to keep it, and sell it if you want to sell it!
Ways We Can Help If You’re In Pre-Foreclosure
- We can potentially help with a short sale – Submit your info on this website so we can evaluate your situation.
- We may buy your Atlanta area house – We buy houses in Atlanta and help you get cash for your house. Just fill out the form here to get started >>
- We provide free guidance and resources to help you decide what is best for you. This costs you nothing, there’s absolutely no pressure, no obligation… just free guidance. We live here and want to help our neighbors. Click here for our Free Foreclosure Guide >>