Ten Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure in Idaho


Homeownership can be exciting and terrify all at the same time. Buying a house can require a lot of money upfront. However, owning your own home is a great feeling, and often, a great investment. There is one thing you never want to happen, hear or go through when you own a home, though. Foreclosure. For whatever reason, you are unable to make your monthly payments, or maybe you’ve just fallen behind. Whatever the case, you are now going into foreclosure, and in the very real danger of losing your home.

While there are plenty of Idaho organizations and agencies, as well as government programs, designed to provide you with counseling and assistance when going through a foreclosure, you should first try to avoid a foreclosure altogether. This can be easier said than done. However, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, has a list of tips to avoid a foreclosure altogether.

1. You Shouldn’t Ignore the Problem

If you are struggling to make payments, and keep falling further behind, it becomes that much harder to reinstate your loan. Lose your loan, and that means you’ve lost your house.

2. Contact Your Lender Early

As soon as you know that you are going to be struggling to pay your mortgage, contact your lender. They don’t want your house; they want their money. As such, your lender will actually have options to help you if you are just having a rough financial patch.

3. Don’t Ignore Mail from Your Lender

When your lender first begins notifying you that you might be going into foreclosure, open that mail and respond to it. The early information has great resources and information about prevention options. If you are still in danger of a foreclosure, later mailings might include legal action, and just because you didn’t read or open the mail, doesn’t make it an excuse for not acting.

4. Know Your Rights

Take a look at your loan documents. This way, you can learn about what actions your lender will take if you can’t make your monthly payments. You will also want to take the time to learn about foreclosure laws, and the timeframes, in Idaho. Each state is different, so contact Idaho’s housing office for more information.

5. Know Your Options

In the state of Idaho, and even in the federal government, there are plenty of mortgage prevention options and programs. You can find more information online, either through state options or federal ones, like HUD.

6. Use a HUD Approved Counselor

The Department of Housing and Urban Development maintains a list of approved housing counselors that are either free or low cost. These counselors will help you understand the laws behind foreclosures and help you understand and find options. They can even represent you when negotiating with the lender.

7. Manage Your Spending

Spend your money on what’s important. Pay for your health care and insurance first, and then work on keeping your house. Those are your top priorities. Look through your finances and see what you can cut out in order to pay your mortgage. For now, you might need to get rid of optional expenses, like entertainment (cable TV). If you can, delay payments on credit cards and unsecured debt until you pay your mortgage.

8. Use What You Have

Take stock of any assets that you have. Maybe you have a second car or even a life insurance policy that you can cash out. If either you, or another member of your household can get a job or a second job, it can help. Even if these efforts don’t produce a lot of extra income, it shows your lender that you are willing to work hard to try and keep your house.

9. Stay Away From Prevention Companies

While not all foreclosure prevention companies are bad, they are for profit. This means that they are going to be charging you for their services. Sometimes, those fees can be several months worth of mortgage payments. Your money is better spent on your actual mortgage than one of these companies, especially when state and federal assistance is provided free of cost.

10. Don’t Get Scammed

If a foreclosure prevention offer sounds too good to be true, it is. Some companies or firms might claim to be able to stop your foreclosure immediately. So long as you sign a document letting them act on your behalf. Instead, you could simply be signing your house over to them.

Now, you’ve lost your home and are simply a renter in your own home. If you ever don’t understand a legal document, don’t sign it. Use an attorney, a real estate professional that you trust, or one of the many HUD-approved counselors. If you’re already in danger of losing your home, don’t get scammed out of your home.



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