11 Apr

Pre-foreclosure is an action taken by a lender to try to obtain owed money before Foreclosure proceedings begin. When a home is in pre-foreclosure, there is still time to make things right and avoid foreclosure. Pre-foreclosure is a term used to define the time after a missed mortgage payment, when a borrower is notified of their default (in New York, that's usually in 30 days after the missed payment) and before the lender officially files foreclosure paperwork in court. In New York, there is usually a 90-day period required before the lender can begin Foreclosure proceedings. Thus, pre-foreclosure is a warning that a foreclosure may occur, if debts are not resolved. In New York, the whole pre-foreclosure process is usually about 120 days. A real estate attorney can assist you with all of these procedures. Should you need it, I can refer you to reputable legal counsel in your state.

As a licensed real estate salesperson, I am privileged to have involvement in real estate, and I get to help people navigate their real estate options. As someone who started as a resident and then became a real estate investor, I have seen many different scenarios over the years. Folks who did nothing or who waited until the last minute to seek help and take action, often missed their chances to save their home from foreclosure. In fact, from what I have seen, they usually ended up losing their home and gaining the sting of foreclosure on their record for years afterwards. I personally know that prevention is better than cure and I hate to see families displaced when it could have been avoided. For those reasons, I am writing this article to help anyone who finds themself missing a mortgage payment or approaching the pre-foreclosure part of their life. 

Here are five general tips that one can consider to help avoid or come out of pre-foreclosure:

1. Contact Your Lender. If there is an issue currently affecting or delaying your mortgage payments, contacting your lender before they contact you may be a good faith move that can allow options you may not have been aware of. Your lender doesn't usually want to go through the foreclosure process. Open communication with your lender and explaining your situation may help work out a plan to get you back on track with your mortgage payments. As I am not an attorney, I would advise all to seek legal counsel beforehand, if needed.

2. Cut Expenses & Make A Plan. It’s important to sit down, evaluate your budget, and cut any expenses to compensate for the money owed on your mortgage payments. As my parents used to say, "Banning your belly a little today may help you reach your goals sooner". Cutting expenses can also prove prudent in helping you to stay afloat long enough to get back on track and ahead of your debts. Review your ongoing subscriptions and cancel memberships with fees, especially ones that you haven't used in a while or that you can live without. Get your FNA (Financial Needs Analysis) done and set up a new budget or financial plan. Schedule a consultation with me today for help with these. A complimentary FNA is available for my clients.

3. Loan Modification. If the financial burden is due to an adjustable-rate mortgage, refinancing your mortgage terms may be an option that benefits your budget. Having used this strategy both personally and professionally, I can tell you that there are usually many options and advantages to using this method, especially when rates and credit are ideal. If you're not sure where to start with that process, I would be happy to refer you to one of our trusted lenders or loan specialists in your area. The numbers don't have to be scary. Face them and start finding better options. 

4. Seek Professional Advice. Let's face it... We don't know what we don't know. Until someone points out what we didn't know or until we learn it for ourselves, there is plenty that we are just not aware of. Fortunately, there are individuals who are professionals at dealing with what is completely new to us. If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you can try to figure it out all on your own. You can even ignore the problems and hope that they all work out on their own. However, I strongly recommend that you take full advantage of all of your options; and get help figuring out the best possible approaches for you. To avoid or overcome pre-foreclosure, foreclosure and more, you can let a professional help guide you through the issues and onto their solutions.

5. Sell Your Home. If all other possibilities have been explored, selling your home could be a profitable solution to pre-foreclosure. Selling your property may give you the funds needed to pay off your debts, avoid foreclosure and keep your credit clear of reporting a Foreclosure for many years afterwards. From my experience, moving when good opportunities present themselves is usually much better than waiting for your options to run out. Having experience, both as an investor and as a realtor, I have learned that not all situations have the same solutions. I'd be happy to help you explore your best and worst options, so that you can choose what's best for you. Worst case scenario is foreclosure and losing the property anyway; so if saving home is not an option, at least let me help you sell it. Whether you sell to a buyer on the open market at market value or to an investor at a discount, either way, I will advise you honestly and work to help you out of this difficult situation.

Take action now, while you can. 

Contact me by text or phone at 914-619-7537 or online at www.moniquenoelgunter.com.

Not knowing what to do may be hard, but moving forward, especially with help, is totally worth it. 

As I often state in my posts: #WhyWaitForTooLate #RiseAndShineMakeADifference

Here's to a better tomorrow.

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