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Foreclosure: First Steps

Receiving a foreclosure notice in the mail is a pretty scary thing. It's very easy to feel like you have the whole world on your shoulders. But it happens every day. In 2009 2.8 million properties received foreclosure notices.

That's really grim news!

About two thirds of those notices don't result in foreclosures, though. This is a very surprising fact! How can this be true in today's tough market?

It's easy; people are fighting back. They're realizing the error of their ways, putting pen to paper and handling the situation that they've been given.

Receiving a foreclosure notice is not the end of the world. There are even a couple of things you can do to avoid the process altogether.

Exploring Government Programs

The federal government's Making Home Affordable program offers two options for distressed homeowners: loan modification and refinancing. This assistance is free for distressed homeowners. Even if you intend to sell your property to mitigate some of your losses, it's worth while to explore the website to see what options are available to you.

Talk to Someone

One of the biggest things you can do is talk to someone. Missing a payment or two is not the end of the world and does not mean foreclosure is your only option. It's simply a direction that you can choose to reverse. Look over your home loan statement for contact information. Call and ask to speak with the loss mitigation department. Be patient; you might be on hold for awhile. A lot of other need help, too.

When you speak with someone take notes and record names. Explain your situation and that you're having a hard time.

You can also contact a Foreclosure Avoidance Counselor who specializes in New Hampshire. These counselors are free of charge and approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These counselors will be able to explain foreclosure laws that are specific to NH, discuss alternatives available to you and help you organize your financial documents.

Review Your Documents

Collect all of your correspondence you've had with your mortgage provider. Review the most current letters first and work your way backwards.

Now review the foreclosure laws specific to NH. Read through this document carefully. If you don't understand something look it up. Are there any laws that may help you in this process?

Foreclosure May Not Be Quick

It depends on your lender and your area, but foreclosure can take anywhere from two to twelve months. Sometimes there will be a speedy nonjudicial process and other times there will be a long, drawn out process mandated by the state. The good in all of this is that this gives you valuable time to get yourself together. Keep up with your taxes, homeowner's association fees and homeowners insurance in the meantime.

Use this time to try to avert disaster.