What to do when you receive a foreclosure notice

A foreclosure notice is the last thing any homeowner wants to receive. Many times the notice isn’t much of a surprise. But there have been documented cases where the notice of foreclosure was in error – an incorrect address, a misfiling of payments or even worse, an incomplete review of the file, leading to an inaccurate foreclosure status.

Receiving a surprise foreclosure notice can cause shock and disbelief. But it’s only a notice. Foreclosure doesn’t happen until several more legal steps are taken. In the meantime, you can take a couple of actions to determine if you can – and should – fight the foreclosure and save your house.

Tip 1: Review the notification to make sure all the information is correct. Errors on this information – your name, address, account number, etc. – could be a result of the file not being correctly reviewed, and can help you stay in your home.

Tip 2: Connect with an attorney who specializes in foreclosure law. An easy way to make sure you find the correct attorney to handle your unique situation is to sign up for Legal Service Plans from LegalShield. Plans have a monthly subscription, and provide you with access to resources, advice and legal counsel for whatever legal situation you have, including foreclosure.

Every state has different foreclosure laws, on top of federal laws that often go into effect when the mortgage holder is located in one state and the homeowner lives in another. Having an accomplished law firm on call for legal assistance and on your side to help explain the entire process can help you determine if the potential for foreclosure is justified.

Even if the foreclosure is justified, you may still have options available to you that can help save your home. A lawyer who is knowledgeable about foreclosure law in your state can help you find and explore these options.

Tip 3: Collect and review all your financials. Having records showing payments, and amounts of the payments will come in handy in determining in court if the foreclosure notice is justified. For example, it could be determined that the amount of money you were expected to pay is too high for the loan. Or that you made payments, but they didn’t end up in the correct place, and weren’t properly processed by the mortgage company.

Tip 4: Keep documentation of all conversations, emails, mailings and notifications. Set up a file and print copies of all communications to store in that file. If you have to converse via a phone call, take time after the call to note the time and length of the call, who you spoke with and their title, and a summary of the conversation. If you are able, email a note back to the contact reviewing the conversation as well, so you have a copy of the conversation in writing.

Tip 5: Determine if you want to argue the notice of foreclosure. This is a big decision because your home, your credit rating and your finances are all dependent upon the final outcome. Work with your attorney and discuss all of your options, including the potential consequences of all actions.

Yes, you will worry if a notice of foreclosure appears in your mailbox, especially if it’s catching you by surprise. And with losing your home a potential outcome from this notice, following these tips may help you find freedom – from worry or from being taken advantage of.

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