Along with the economy and the financial sectors, the housing market is in a free fall and home mortgage lenders are tightening the purse strings. In the foreseeable future and recent past, experts estimate nearly three to four million people (1) will be unable to avoid foreclosure and will lose or have lost their homes due to the current recession. These are alarming numbers, especially when coupled with the fact that this statistic is projected to pass the number of homeowners who lost their properties during the Great Depression.

But is foreclosure always necessary? Could today's homeowners, if prepared with the right kind of knowledge, avoid foreclosure? The answer is a resounding yes - in many cases, homeowners with a little foresight can work with their home mortgage lenders and often avoid foreclosure or stop it from occurring in the first place.

Work with Your Home Mortgage Lenders

Whether you're struggling or you know someone who is, there are alternate means to avoid foreclosure. Begin by speaking with your lender to see what he can do for your particular situation. In most cases, home mortgage lenders and/or lending institutions can work with you to get better rates or help you make your payments in a timely fashion.

Below are four services that home mortgage lenders and institutions routinely offer to their clients. And with a little anticipation, you can avoid foreclosure and prevent it from happening in the future by being more informed and armed with some tricks of the trade!

1. Refinance - This is one of the most common activities to avoid foreclosure in the mortgage industry in which the homeowner tries to decrease his interest rate by paying off the actual balance on the mortgage. This is possible by creating a new mortgage with a different lender for a lower interest rate, with the possibility of paying off the actual mortgage and consolidating other debt such as credit cards, auto loans, student loans, or home equity loans) in order to make just one monthly payment.

2. Loan Modification - Generally offered by home mortgage lenders or even the homeowner's financial institution, loan modification is made to either the rate or the balance of the mortgage. This happens when home mortgage lenders change the interest rate or the balance on the mortgage in order to decrease the amount of the monthly payment. This is one of the simplest processes to reduce monthly payments and avoid foreclosure because it's done by the current lender, meaning the paperwork is minimal and there are no closing costs, which is ideal in those situations.

3. Repayment Plan - This service is only offered by home mortgage lenders to homeowners who are delinquent on their monthly payments. With this process, home mortgage lenders will add a portion of the past due balance on the mortgage to the monthly payment in order to pay off that late balance in a shorter period of time without paying extra interest. This option is generally offered to borrowing homeowners who have experienced a significant loss of income (or an increase in living expenses), but still have enough monthly income to correct the delinquency and re-instate the loan. Repayment of the loan must occur within the duration of a scheduled monthly plan, which can be achieved either through gradual repayment of the delinquent amount or through both repayment and loan modification.

4. Short Sale - With this process, home mortgage lenders and homeowners agree on selling the house for less than the balance on the mortgage in order to pay off the debt and avoid foreclosure. These circumstances are usually related to the current real estate market and the borrower's financial situation. A short sale is typically executed to avoid foreclosure and prevent subsequent damage from appearing on the customer's credit score for years into the future.

Have a Plan in Place

Take your future into your own hands! Oftentimes, simply knowing the steps of how to avoid foreclosure can be successful in preventing a problematic state of affairs from escalating by making efforts well in advance to remit or resume payments. This is a sticky situation you want to avoid at all costs - a foreclosure remains on your credit report years down the road and can significantly harm your credit score to the point where it may be difficult to purchase a house ever again.

Your lending institution wants to help you avoid foreclosure, keep your home, and for you to stay in it. Be proactive and, above all, be armed with the necessary knowledge to save your home and property!



Author's Bio: 

Neil A. Terc is the president of, a unique, interactive website that lists real estate properties from both realtors and homeowners. Terc created the website to offer advice and discuss the common challenges that face new homebuyers and sellers. For the last seven years, he has been purchasing, selling, and leasing properties and is a self-taught real estate professional. To see some of the website's real estate listings online, visit