Tactics To Delay A Mortgage Foreclosure

September 20, 2010

Each month we read about more and more homeowners facing the prospect of a mortgage foreclosure. Many cannot afford to pay rent and are terrified of the prospect of moving out to nowhere. If you are finding yourself in this situation, there are ways to delay the foreclosure of your home, sometimes even for a year or more. By living rent and mortgage-free for that time, you could be able to get back on your feet, save up a rent deposit and get moved on your own terms.

Even without using any delay strategies, you will have a few months after you stop paying your mortgage before any type of proceedings, other than late payment notices, are started. Legal documents have to be filed and a ton of other steps must be taken by the banks in order to evict you from your home. Here is some advice on how to delay the mortgage foreclosure process.

  • Do not ignore them. As tempting as it may be to ignore your creditors, it is the wrong thing to do when your home is on the line. Talk to them; tell them you are having difficulty. Often this can buy you at least a few more months. Ignoring them also removes your right to fight the proceedings.
  • Write a hardship letter. Once they start sending you foreclosure notices, send them a hardship letter. State the reason that you are unable to pay your mortgage at this time, whether it is due to loss of a job, divorce, death of the family’s breadwinner or illness.
  • Insist on a court appearance. You can demand a court appearance over the foreclosure, even if the bank tries to avoid it. Depending upon where you are located, it can take months for a court date to come up.
  • Demand that the bank produce the note. Demand that the original signed mortgage be produced. Without it the bank can’t legally evict you. This alone could keep you in your home for a couple more years! Often the lenders aren’t sure where they have filed the original note, or they have sent parts of it to this office or that office, and even sold parts of it to their underwriters. It can be next to impossible for them to locate the document. When you demand they produce this document, do so in writing and by phone. By phone so you know they heard you and by writing so you can prove you demanded it. Bring it up in court when the time comes as well.
  • Simply stay put. Remain on the premises as long as possible. Chances are the foreclosure process will take a long time, so even if they come knocking you probably still have some time. You might, however, want to consider packing up your most precious belongings and putting them in storage in case you have to move quickly with little notice.
  • No matter how far behind you are in your mortgage, you have time to get a handle on your life situation and move along on your own terms. Don’t let the lender bully you into moving out before you must. Fight the foreclosure, take them to court, demand that they produce proof that they own the property and stay in the house as long as you choose to. It is possible to delay foreclosure until you can get your life back on track.

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