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Are there alternatives to foreclosure?

You get a foreclosure notice in the mail. It's not a surprise. You know you have missed payments. But it really sums up where you are at financially and the struggles you and your family are facing.

Now, maybe those struggles are not your fault, and they're out of your hands. Perhaps you lost your job when the company downsized or ran into unexpected medical bills that you never could have planned for. But the issues are still real, and now, you may lose your home.

What you start asking yourself is if you have any alternatives. You're in luck. There are a few things to consider.

For instance, some lenders are open to setting up a payment plan. You fell behind, but you think you can get caught up again in time. Remember, foreclosure is expensive and time-consuming for the lender, as well. They'd rather avoid it if possible.

Another option may be declaring bankruptcy. This can put an automatic stay on the foreclosure, delaying the loss of the home. You may then be able to reorganize the rest of your finances to make the mortgage affordable again.

Finally, you may find other forms of assistance. Did you know that there are government programs designed specifically to help people keep their homes? If you qualify, would that give you the assistance you need?

These are just a few of the potential options you have, and there are many more. Looking at them, however, shows you why it's so important to know your legal rights and to fully explore the process when facing foreclosure.

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