Foreclosure Relief Services Blog

Forbearance ≠ Forgiveness: Don’t be a Victim of the Forbearance Trap

Apr 9, 2020 5:39:23 PM / by Greg Tidmore

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As the Coronavirus crises rolls on, tens of millions of Americans are out of work, and that number will continue to swell. The government has stepped in and temporarily halted foreclosures and offered some relief for homeowners through The CARES Act, but neither are a long-term cure-all.

Many mortgage companies are offering help for homeowners, but that typically comes in the form of a forbearance, not payment forgiveness. Forbearance is when the mortgage company allows the borrower to halt making payments for a specified period of time, typically to help borrowers in time of economic crisis.

Forbearance simply reduces (or suspends) your mortgage payment during the forbearance period.

The benefit to homeowners is that they don’t have to make a payment for a few months. Sounds too good to be true? It is. As soon as the forbearance period is over, the bank typically wants allmissed payments in full immediately, or they’ll start foreclosure proceedings.

For most people, forbearance is just a trap – tempting you with the idea of not having to make a payment for a while, only to have the trap snap shut on you when you least expect it!In order to release the trap, you’ll have to pay in full, which is unlikely to happen for most Americans who have lost their jobs or have been underpaid for weeks or months at a time.

To stay in your home long term, you’ll likely have to apply for a loan modification as banks can’t just automatically tack on payments to the back of the loan without your consent and paperwork being signed (although a confusing provision in The CARES Act seems to allow just that). If you can’t qualify for a modification due to inability to pay (or for any other reason), they’ll move forward with foreclosure and kick you out of your home.

That’s when you may need the professional services of a law firm to help slow down the foreclosure proceedings and negotiate a loan modification, short sale, or other negotiated settlement such as a Deed in Lieu of foreclosure. Bankruptcy may also provide you relief, but in most cases should be used as a last resort.  

Tips to avoid default and foreclosure:

  • Continuing making payments if you are able, even if a forbearance is offered.
  • Communicate with your bank or mortgage company regarding your hardship.
  • Apply for a loan modification as soon as you are able to resume payments.
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Foreclosure Process in Texas

Jan 8, 2020 4:37:00 PM / by Greg Tidmore posted in Loan Modifications, Foreclosure Defense, Short Sales

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Falling Behind on Payments

If you miss a few mortgage payments, your mortgage servicer will probably send a letter or two reminding you to get caught up, as well as call you to try to collect the payments. Don’t ignore the phone calls and letters. This is a good opportunity to discuss loss mitigation options and attempt to work out an agreement such as a loan modification, short sale, forbearance, or payment plan so you can avoid foreclosure.

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5 Options You Have When Facing Foreclosure

Apr 3, 2018 1:47:21 PM / by Greg Tidmore posted in Loan Modifications, Short Sales, Foreclosure

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1. Do Nothing

While you may be tempted to just walk away, if you ignore the lender and do nothing, you can expect to be foreclosed on in as few as 21 days. Adding insult to the injury, there is no redemption period for mortgage foreclosures in Texas. Once foreclosed on, you will have to move out or you will be evicted with little or no hope of getting it back.

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REALTORS needed to help thousands of Harvey victims facing foreclosure

Feb 28, 2018 1:47:04 PM / by Greg Tidmore posted in Foreclosure Defense, Foreclosure, Loss Mitigation, Forbearance

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On August 25, 2017 Hurricane Harvey hit Texas hard, wiping out 15,000+ homes and damaging some 150,000+ more. This caused a spike in delinquent housing payments, and now more than 40,000 mortgages are 90 or more days delinquent! The spike was not unexpected, but Houston foreclosure postings soared pre-Harvey according to the Houston Chronicle. Harvey just exasperated the problem.  

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HELP: I accepted a forbearance and now I’m being foreclosed!

Feb 21, 2018 10:48:20 AM / by Greg Tidmore posted in Foreclosure, Loss Mitigation, Forbearance

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On August 25th, Texas was hit by the strongest hurricane to impact the state since 1961. But it wasn’t the wind that gusted to 134 mph that caused most of the $180 billion in damage; it was the catastrophic rainfall of up to 60 inches. All told, some 15,000+ homes were destroyed with another 150,000 suffering some damage.  

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R.I.P. HAMP: What does this mean for homeowners in distress?

Jan 30, 2017 11:44:11 AM / by Greg Tidmore posted in Loan Modifications, HAMP

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The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) was a government-backed program born in 2009 to provide relief to borrowers behind on their mortgages. The program provided structure and incentives to mortgage servicers to encourage them to lower monthly payments for borrowers in an effort to keep more of them in their homes. With fewer borrowers in default, and a shift in the political powers in charge in Washington, the program died December 31, 2016  with no plans to resurrect it.

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What Happens After a Foreclosure?

Dec 20, 2016 12:34:00 PM / by Greg Tidmore posted in Foreclosure Process, Foreclosure Defense, Foreclosure

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After the Foreclosure Process

In my previous post, Foreclosure Process in Texas I covered that foreclosure is a process that begins with default of the loan and culminates in the sale of the property. Now having an understanding of how the process works, let's discuss what happens after the auction takes place.

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Momentous Milestone or Monumental Mismanagement of Modifications?

Nov 10, 2016 10:00:00 AM / by Greg Tidmore posted in Loan Modifications

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HOPE NOW, an industry dominated alliance between lenders, housing advocates, and the government, just claimed a “Momentous Milestone” of reaching eight million permanent modifications.

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