If you fail to make your mortgage payments to your lender, foreclosure of your property may occur. This is the legal means that your lender can use to repossess (take over) your home. Foreclosures can seriously affect your ability to qualify for credit in the future.
Don't lose your home! Below is some guidance on default and foreclosure prevention. (Also see the link below to HUD’s website for more information and resources):
Take these steps:
- Do not ignore the letters from your lender. If you're having problems making your payments, call or write to your lender's Loss Mitigation Department without delay. Explain your situation. Be prepared to provide them with financial information, such as your monthly income and expenses. Without this information, they may not be able to help.
- Stay in your home for now. You may not qualify for assistance if you abandon your property.
- Contact a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. Call 1-800-569-4287 or TDD 1-800-877-8339 for the housing counseling agency nearest you. These agencies are valuable resources.
They frequently have information on services and programs offered by government agencies as well as private and community organizations that could help you. The housing counseling agency may also offer credit counseling. These services are usually free of charge.
The guidance at the link above on HUD’s website is applicable to homeowners with FHA Insured loans. While a good deal of this information may apply to all homeowners in danger of losing their homes, not all of the foreclosure avoidance tools mentioned may be available to you if you have a VA or conventional loan.
Frequently Asked Questions about Mortgages and Foreclosures in Georgia
For Military Personnel, see also Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
Fannie Mae, a government–sponsored enterprise, which buys home loans from lenders in the secondary mortgage market, has launched a new website to assist borrowers, who are having difficulty meeting their home mortgage obligations. The website, named “Know Your Options,” provides a wealth of information for all borrowers, whether or not Fannie Mae owns your loan. You can visit the site at http://www.knowyouroptions.com/.
To help combat the rise in foreclosures in metro Atlanta, the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Atlanta, the Fannie Mae Foundation, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, NeighborWorks America, and the United Way have joined together to provide free counseling to Georgia homeowners to provide consumer education and to prevent home foreclosures. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Georgia Department of Consumer Affairs, Georgia Department of Labor, and a number of mortgage lenders have also partnered to promote the HOPE campaign.
The HOPE program is a foreclosure prevention program and consists of a toll-free 1-888-995-HOPE hotline supplemented by face-to-face counseling provided by local NeighborWorks organizations. The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by counselors, who provide free, confidential advice for those facing foreclosure. Homeowners who want or need in-person counseling will be referred to organizations throughout the metro area. Counseling is available in English and Spanish.
Internal Revenue Service Foreclosure Resources
The Internal Revenue Service has a special section on IRS.gov for people who have lost their homes due to foreclosure.
The IRS has also reassured homeowners that although mortgage workouts and foreclosures can have tax consequences, special relief provisions can often reduce or eliminate the tax bite for financially strapped borrowers who lose their homes. Details are in the attached news release and on IRS.gov.
The Internal Revenue Service is encouraging mortgage and real estate licensing agencies to assist in making this information available by posting on their webs or providing it to their customers by other means.
IR 2007-159 – The news release IR 2007-159 provides additional background. The news release and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) can also be found at: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=174022,00.html
The direct link to the FAQs is: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=174034,00.html