Monday, August 27, 2007

News You Can Use... Foreclosure Crisis

From the Kansas City Parade, August 19, 2007

As the foreclosure rates peak to what seems to be an all time high, they are trending 30% greater than last year alone- with an expectation of 1,000,000 homes facing foreclosure. Tips to help avoid foreclosure and scams:

1. Contact your lender as soon as you have a problem paying. Most of them want to help you keep your house!

2. Respond to all mail from your lender. Early letters often include options that let you avoid foreclosure, while later ones are legal notices.

3. Know your rights. Read your loan papers and find out about foreclosure laws in your state.

4. Prioritize your spending. After health care, keeping your home should be your top priority, over and above all other debts.

5. Avoid foreclosure-prevention companies and scams. You don't have to pay fees for foreclosure help. Don't sign a document from somehone claiming to stop a foreclosure. In a scam called "equity skimming," a "buyer" offers to repay the mortgage if you sign over your deed and move out. You're left with the debt and no house.

6. Get help from HUD. The Department of Housing and Urban Development offers free or low-cost counselors (call 1-800-569-4287 to find one) and informaiton on avoiding foreclosure at

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