Thursday, March 22, 2007

Las Vegas Foreclosures - Keeping Your Home

Las Vegas Foreclosures - Few things are as devastating as losing your home. About 30 percent to 40 percent of the people who get behind in their payments never even contact their lender. Many times they feel like the lender can't do anything for them, and they are ashamed to admit they can't meet their commitments. But foreclosure is not always inevitable, and in many cases it can be avoided with some outside help and a little work.

From the lender's standpoint, it's not uncommon that the sale of the foreclosed home is insufficient to cover the remainder of the mortgage. When the property has been damaged, or market values have dropped, the lender may end up with a bill in the tens of thousands for the difference. Despite what many people think, most lending institutions are not anxious to foreclose. It's a last-ditch effort to recover their money and minimize their losses, and it's an incredible hassle. Most lenders would rather avoid it, if possible.

Sometimes foreclosure can be avoided by getting on a different mortgage program with lower payments. Before you get too far behind, talk to a loan officer about the possibility of refinancing your mortgage to perhaps an adjustable rate mortgage or one with interest only payments. A few hundred dollars less on the mortgage payment may make the difference in being able to keep your home.

Many borrowers can qualify for a new payment structure with their existing lender under "special forebearance" if they've had an increase in their cost-of-living, such as unexpected medical expenses, or a decrease in wages. This payment structure will allow the owner to repay the lender in a given time frame.

Sometimes it is necessary to sell your home and find a new place to move into. Don't believe that it will be better to let the foreclosure happen, because after you lose your home, you will still need to find a new place to live. All too often, the price you will need to pay in rent will be almost as high if not higher than your current mortgage payment. Remember: The owner of the rental property needs to make his mortgage payment, too, so he's going to charge a rental payment that's higher than his mortgage costs. If your credit is bad from a foreclosure, the landlord will charge you even more because you are now a high risk.

In this case you will need to contact your existing mortgage lender to let them know you intend to sell the home and get their cooperation to allow you the time to do it. If your home is worth less than the mortgage and closing costs, the lender may even be willing to do a "short sale," that is take less than the property is worth, just to expedite the process and not have to go through formal foreclosure proceedings. The key thing to remember is, communicate with your lender. If they feel you are trying to do everything possible to meet your obligations they will be willing to work with you.

There are multiple sources for help that you should be aware of, and most lenders will be happy to hear that their clients are going to try to keep their home rather than just await a foreclosure. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development maintains a list of HUD-approved counseling agencies. Call (800) 569-4287 to find the agency nearest to you. FHA borrowers may even qualify to have HUD make a one-time payment to bring their mortgage current. If you need help refinancing in Las Vegas, contact Las Vegas mortgage broker Glen Tonnesen at 702-524-7216 for confidential assistance.