Robert D. Paulbeck, Attorney at Law
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Alternatives to foreclosure exist in Michigan

From job loss to an unexpected health decline, many factors can cause a homeowner to fall behind on their mortgage payments. While your lender may temporarily reduce or delay your mortgage payments if you're facing a hardship, they don't have to.

Not paying your monthly mortgage payment on time or at all can affect your credit and cause your home to be foreclosed on. This can adversely impact your score.

If you're wondering if there are any options for you if you're experiencing a more long-term inability to pay, there are options. Selling your home may help you avoid foreclosure.

All you have to do is miss a single mortgage payment and your lender may decide to begin foreclosure proceedings. Once you're 120 days behind in making payments, they may put your home up for sale. They can use any money they make to satisfy some or all of the debt that you owe.

If your lender forecloses on your home, then your credit score will drop overnight. Once it does, qualifying for an auto loan, credit card or cellphone plan may be difficult. Taking out a home mortgage may not be an option for several years.

Homeowners who haven't yet had their house taken back may be able to quickly sell it to avoid foreclosure. Whether you'll be able to do so will depend on how much you still owe on your mortgage and how much your home is worth.

If its value is higher than what you still have left to pay, then you can sell it and repay your lender what you still owe them. If you find that it's worth less than what you have left to pay your bank, then you'll want to see if your bank will allow you to do a short sale of the property. Your lender won't automatically agree to this. If they do, then you may be able to repay them less than what you originally owed.

Negotiating with your lender to stop a foreclosure or to get them to agree to a short sale isn't always easy. A real estate transactions attorney who has helped broker similar deals between Michigan homeowners and other lenders may be able to help though. By entrusting your case to a local Trenton professional, you may able to avoid property disputes spiraling out of control.

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