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What are some facts you need to know about foreclosure?

No one wants to be in a position where a foreclosure notice arrives, but it happens. When it does, you need to take steps toward the outcome you want to see take place. Are you focusing on bankruptcy? Would you like to pursue the foreclosure and allow it to take place?

Foreclosure proceedings start after your payments are delinquent. How long you can be delinquent depends on your loan, but it's usually spelled out in your contract. After a certain amount of time passes, the mortgage or lien holder can file for foreclosure proceedings, which is the legal way for them to reclaim property that you have not fully paid for.

You'll know if you're in the foreclosure process, because a Notice of Default will be posted at the County Recorder's Office. You'll be notified by post and receive a certified letter explaining the foreclosure proceedings to you and the options you have in your particular situation. After you receive this, you have approximately 90 days to determine what you want to do; after that time passes, the foreclosure may move forward.

To stop a foreclosure, you have a few potential options. If you can afford to make payments to bring your past-due bills up to date, then the foreclosure may be stopped. If you can't do that, you could try to negotiate with your lender. If the payments are too high or there are other concerns, then they may be able to work out a new plan with you. If all else fails, you can seek bankruptcy to stop foreclosure proceedings or sell your home to make the money needed to pay off the debt.

Source: Money Matters 101, "Foreclosure," John M. Roberts, accessed April. 21, 2015

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