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Understand Your Options To Avoid Foreclosure

Understand Your Options To Avoid Foreclosure | Simplifying The Market

Even though experts agree theres no chance of a large-scale foreclosure crisis, there are a number of homeowners who may be coming face-to-face with foreclosure as a possibility. And while the overall percentage of homeowners at risk is decreasing with time (see graph below), thats little comfort to those individuals who are facing challenges today.Understand Your Options To Avoid Foreclosure | Simplifying The MarketIf you havent taken advantage of the forbearance period, it may be time to research and understand your options. It starts with knowing what foreclosure is. Investopedia defines it like this:

Foreclosure is the legal process by which a lender attempts to recover the amount owed on a defaulted loan by taking ownership of and selling the mortgaged property. Typically, default is triggered when a borrower misses a specific number ofmonthly payments . . .

The good news is, there are alternatives available to help you avoid having to go through the foreclosure process, including:

  • Reinstatement
  • Loan modification
  • Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure
  • Short sale

But before you go down any of those paths, its worth seeing if you have enough equity in your home to sell it and protect your investment.

Understand Your Options: Sell Your House

Equity is the difference between what you owe on the home and its market value based on factors like price appreciation.

In todays real estate market, many homeowners have far more equity in their homes than they realize. Over the last year, buyer demand has been high, but housing supply has been low. Thats led to a substantial increase in home values. When prices rise, so does the amount of equity you have in your house.

According to CoreLogic, on average, homeowners gained $33,400 in equity over the last 12 months, and the average equity on mortgaged homes is now $216,000 (see map below):Understand Your Options To Avoid Foreclosure | Simplifying The MarketSo, what does that mean for you? Over the past year, chances are your homes value and therefore your equity has risen dramatically. If youve been in your home for a while, the mortgage payments youve made over time chipped away at the balance of your loan. If your homes current value is higher than what you still owe on your loan, you may be able to use that increase to your advantage.

Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogic, elaborates on how equity can help:

Homeowner equity has more than doubled over the past decade and become a crucial buffer for many weathering the challenges of the pandemic. These gains have become an important financial tool and boosted consumer confidence in the U.S. housing market.

Dont Go at It Alone Lean on Experts for Advice

To find out what your house is worth in todays market, work with a local real estate professional. Well be able to give you an estimate of what your house could sell for based on recent sales of similar homes in your area. Since home prices are still appreciating, you may be able to sell your house to avoid foreclosure.

If you find out that you have to pursue other options, your agent can help with that too. Well be able to connect you with other professionals in the industry, like housing counselors who can look into your unique situation and offer advice on next steps if selling isnt the best alternative.

Bottom Line

If youre a homeowner facing hardship, lets connect to explore your options and see if you can sell your house to avoid foreclosure.

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