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I am behind on house payments. Will I lose my home?

Perhaps you had to skip a month or two of mortgage payments due to an emergency. Or maybe you simply did not have enough money for your payment and other bills. Whatever the case, you might be afraid you are about to lose your home and that you could even have to file for bankruptcy

That does not have to be the case. It helps to act as quickly as possible, because the best foreclosure defense is being proactive.

Get an accurate picture of your situation

Before you can do anything effectively, you must be able to explain exactly what is going on. That means assessing your income, expenses and debts. When you list debts, detail whether each debt is secured or unsecured, the required minimum payments and the interest rates. With an analysis of your situation in hand, you can determine whether it might be possible to make up your payments in a few months.

Get in touch with your mortgage lender

Try not to view contacting your lender as a sign of surrender or a sign that all is hopeless. View it as a way to get in control of your finances because that is exactly what it is.

Your lender, just like you, has a stake in your home and does not want to lose money either. Yes, it is possible the lender will simply tell you something like, "Too bad. I think we will start foreclosure soon," but savvy lenders try to make things work. Options for forbearance could include lowering your payments for a certain time frame or adding the payments you missed elsewhere in your loan.

Consult with an attorney

If the analysis of your financial situation makes it seem as if there is no way you can catch up on your mortgage payments, then consulting an attorney could be your best option. Attorneys can give their own analysis and might have other options to avoid foreclosure and bankruptcy. If bankruptcy is best, they can tell you whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 makes more sense in your situation and helps you keep the home.

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