How To Stop Foreclosure (Or At Least Try To)

by Stacey Doyle on 2010-09-246

Can you really fight or avoid foreclosure? I’m beginning to doubt it but am trying to remain hopeful. I continue to work with the Housing Authority and Bank of America but haven’t made any actual progress. While they have not foreclosed on my home yet, we have not yet reached a meaningful and permanent agreement either.

So Is Relocation The Answer?

Four years ago, the cost of living in New York really started to soar. Many people “saw the writing on the wall” and sold their homes to move to a cheaper state. Was that the ultimate answer to saving yourself from foreclosure?

Unfortunately not. While there can be improvements in some cases, moving will not guarantee any changes to your financial situation (there are no guarantees in life, after all). Often when you move, your financial problems follow you somehow. A friend of mine decided to sell her home in a highly taxed suburb to move to a more affordable home in a less expensive state. The cost of living in that state rose two years later along with the taxes. Finding work in a new state with few connections in a changing job market was nearly impossible. It’s rather unfortunate, but now, she and her husband are facing foreclosure.

stop foreclosure
Image from Natalie Dee

Who Says There’s A Fat Chance When It Comes To Fighting Foreclosure?

Greg Staffa once ran a blog called (it’s no longer active) to outline his struggles with foreclosure. He ended up living out of his car through some important events such as Christmas, New Year and his birthday because of a foreclosure and the inability to negotiate a meaningful mortgage loan modification. An injury while performing his job as a baggage handler for Northwest Airlines in 2006 left Greg Staffa unemployed and unable to pay his mortgage since October, 2008.

Greg did not get compensation for his injuries as his problems were attributed to his weight. Ultimately, Greg Staffa lost his home on December 18, 2009 and found himself on the streets. This is just one of many cases of homelessness brought about by unfortunate events in our lives. Unexpected emergencies, health problems and even the economy can throw a monkey wrench into our regular routine. As it is, many people are facing personal bankruptcy, foreclosure and homelessness due to the recent job and housing crisis in the United States.

So is there any way to fight foreclosure?

How To Stop Foreclosure (Or At Least Try To)

There are several ways to try to fight foreclosure and keep your home. Let’s consider some of the initial steps to take when you know you won’t be able to meet your housing payments.

  1. Talk to the bank. Don’t run and hide. They already know you haven’t been paying and so they will find you, one way or another. Call them and tell them your situation. It may encourage more meaningful negotiations. At the very least, it will buy you more time to get current on your payments and will allow you to consider alternative housing.
  2. Review your financial situation. Are there expenses you can cut temporarily? Now is the time to cut back on those non-essential expenditures, like ballet lessons or cable television. Every penny counts when you need to keep a roof over your family’s collective head.
  3. Work harder and smarter. Find ways to increase your income or try to generate additional income. Clean out your house and sell stuff you don’t use. Get a second job. Freelance your skills online to earn extra money. Show the bank that you are willing to try to meet your outstanding obligation.
  4. Contact your local housing authority, community organization and legislators. Find out the latest assistance programs you qualify for. From heating assistance to loan modification representation, there are programs that your community may be able to help you with. Local organizations can offer the helping hand you need to possibly avoid a housing crisis.

Granted, some of these tips may not be easy fixes, especially in light of a still struggling economy. However, we continue to fight for our home and wonder everyday if we will be searching for a new one. Either way, we’re not going down without a fight! After all, our housing stability and credit are on the line. If necessary, we will consider hiring an attorney to represent our interests. I am calling soon to get on the pro bono attorney’s list (free legal services to those who qualify) through the local bar association.

Copyright © 2010 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian @ Indianapolis Foreclosures September 26, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Your #1 point is so key. Open, honest communication with the bank is so crucial! Banks are really hurting today, and they really want to work out as many of these loans as possible. Homeowners in trouble should really exhaust all options with their lender first and foremost.

Funny about Money November 8, 2010 at 7:31 am

Interesting what you say about people exiting New York and other cosmopolitan, expensive cities. I wonder if anyone has collected any data on the population movement created by this current not-a-depression.

One of the members of a small business owner’s group I belong to remarked that he’d reserved a U-Haul trailer to schlep his son to college, about three months in advance of the move. They got an estimate that was reasonable. When they went to pick it up, the cost was three times the original price. He asked why and was told that so many people are permanently leaving the Phoenix area that the numbers of one-way rentals have soared. Turns out it’s expensive to hire someone to return a U-Haul from a one-way trip, and so the franchiser had had to raise its rental rates to cover the costs.

Phoenix is far from an expensive city. It’s in a right-to-work state, and so wages leave your heart in the mud, especially if you come here from someplace where compensation is fair. Because no one has any money to spend, the cost of living is relatively low.

Leaves you wondering where all these folks are going. Home to Mom and Dad, presumably…back in the Rust Belt and the Midwest.

Sonny January 27, 2011 at 5:46 am

I read an article on that mentions the fact that banks are really cracking down and making it harder to get a mortgage nowadays.

Evan J February 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm

This information was certainly eye opening. I have so many friends that could hurt with the last downturn. So many people were lied too, which too no fault of their own, they were all hearing the same message from everyone around them. As for me, my private wealth is in precious metal and in property. I have learned my lesson from other people’s experiences.

ralph@foreclosure information July 31, 2011 at 3:40 am

If I’m reading the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act bill correctly, I have 90 days to vacate the property after an eviction notice has been filed. The bank is offering me money to move out within a few weeks, but in the end I’ll end up ahead if I just wait 90 days and not pay any rent. But I’m not sure I’m understanding it correctly. So I have exactly 90 days? I don’t want any more than I’m entitled to by this bill, but obviously I’m going to choose the option that’s most financially beneficial to me.

Bob January 26, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Here in Orange County, CA, the foreclosure market is still in full swing. People are losing their homes all the time. Hopefully it will get better for them with the new HAFA programs.

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