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How fast does a foreclosure take place?

When foreclosure looms, you may think you only have a short time to decide what to do. There are a variety of circumstances that can result in foreclosure, but as someone willing to work to save your home or finances, understanding the steps you can take to get out of debt or to eliminate the risk of foreclosure is key. In fact, you may have a long time to decide what to do next.

First, if you can't make your payments, you shouldn't panic or make immediate decisions. You have time to consider all your options before you make a move. Foreclosures are long processes that take up to 12 months to complete. That means that you'll receive plenty of letters, notices of defaults, and even publications of the debt before you have to worry about your home being sold. It's important to remember to pay your insurance and property taxes throughout this time, because if you're able to pay back the mortgage payments you owe, you won't have to worry about tax liens or other complications.

When you receive foreclosure letters, they should have information on how you can pay back the debts and stop collections. You may decide to work with your attorney on obtaining a bankruptcy that can help you keep your home, or you could call the creditor and discuss your other options. You can speak with the loss mitigation department at any creditor's office to find out more about what to do when your debts aren't affordable any longer.

There's a chance that by contacting your lender, you'll be able to avoid foreclosure. If that doesn't work, then bankruptcy and credit counseling are two other options you may consider.

Source: Houselogic, "The Foreclosure FAQ: How can we help?," accessed Oct. 01, 2015

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