Help is available
Call United Way 211 to find a local HUD-approved counseling agency.
Call 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) for telephone counseling and referral.
Facing a foreclosure, or potential foreclosure, is frightening from both a financial and emotional perspective. It is more important than ever that you are aware of the actions you can take in order to keep your home and avoid foreclosure:
- Don’t wait another minute — Seek assistance. Foreclosure assistance is free.
- Contact your lender immediately. DO NOT ignore letters and phone calls.
- Don’t fall victim to a scam.
- Remember foreclosure assistance is free.
- Visit the following websites for more information:
10 tips when you can't make your mortgage payment:
- Don't ignore the problem. The further behind you become, the more likely that you will lose your house.
- Contact your lender as soon as you realize that you have a problem. Lenders do not want your house. They have options to help borrowers through difficult financial times.
- Open and respond to all mail from your lender. Early notices you receive will offer good information about foreclosure prevention options. Later mail may include important notice of pending legal action. Failure to open mail will not be an excuse in court.
- Know your mortgage rights. Find loan documents and read them so you know your lender’s rights if you can't make your payments. Learn about foreclosure laws in Missouri by contacting the State Government Housing Office.
- Understand foreclosure prevention options. Valuable information about foreclosure prevention (also called loss mitigation) options can be found on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website.
- Contact a HUD-approved housing counselor. HUD funds free or very low cost housing counseling nationwide. Housing counselors can help you understand the law and your options, organize your finances and represent you in negotiations with your lender if needed.
- Prioritize your spending. Review your finances: where can you cut spending in order to make your mortgage payment? Any optional expenses such as: cable TV, memberships, entertainment-that you can eliminate? Don’t pay credit cards and other unsecured debt until you have paid your mortgage. Helpful financial resources from University of Missouri Extension can be found at www.missourifamilies.org.
- Use your assets. Do you have assets, e.g. a second car, jewelry, collectibles, that you can sell for cash to help reinstate your loan? Can anyone in your household get an extra job to bring in additional income? Even if these efforts don't significantly increase your available cash or your income, they demonstrate to your lender that you are willing to make sacrifices to keep your home.
- Avoid foreclosure prevention companies. You don't need to pay fees for foreclosure prevention help. Use that money to pay the mortgage instead. While these for-profits may be legitimate businesses, they will charge you a hefty fee for information and services your lender or a HUD-approved housing counselor will provide free if you contact them.
- Don't lose your house to foreclosure recovery scams! If a firm claims they can stop your foreclosure immediately if you sign a document appointing them to act on your behalf, you may well be signing over the title to your property and becoming a renter in your own home! Never sign a legal document without reading and understanding all the terms and getting professional advice from an attorney, a trusted real estate professional, or a HUD-approved housing counselor.
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Homes and Communities website.
HUD-Certified Housing Counselors
4-Sight Counseling, Inc.
Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions
1600 Heritage Landing, Suite 104
St. Peters MO 63303
Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis
8960 Jennings Station Road
St. Louis MO 63136
Phone: 314-388-9840 x 113