Donít Lose Your Home to Foreclosure -
There is Help Available
It is no secret that a number of our residents and fellow
Michiganders are facing some economic challenges that are
affecting their ability to maintain their quality of life. More
and more individuals and families are finding it increasingly
difficult to make their mortgage payments resulting in possible
foreclosure. The most unfortunate thing is that many do not
realize that they donít have to lose their homes. In many cases,
there are programs available designed to assist homeowners in
getting back on track.
If you are facing
foreclosure, there is help available. The City of Farmington Hills
has assembled the following information to assist homeowners in
finding the help that they need.
Information on Foreclosures
What is Foreclosure?
Foreclosure Q & A
Foreclosure links from Oakland County
Tips to Avoid Foreclosure
1. Don't ignore the problem.
The further behind you become, the harder it will be to reinstate
your loan and the more likely that you will lose your house.
2. Contact your lender as soon as you realize that you have a
Lenders do not want your house. They have options to help
borrowers through difficult financial times.
3. Open and respond to all mail from your lender.
The first notices you receive will offer good information about
foreclosure prevention options that can help you weather financial
problems. Later mail may include important notices of pending
legal action. Failure to open the mail will not be an excuse in
4. Know your mortgage rights.
Find your loan documents and read them so you know what your
lender may do if you can't make your payments. Learn about the
foreclosure laws and timeframes by contacting the Michigan State
Housing Development Authority at (517) 373-8370.
5. Contact a HUD-approved housing counselor.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds
free or 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
you need this assistance. To find a HUD-approved housing counselor
near you, visit the
HUD website or call (800) 569-4287 or TTY (800) 877-8339.
6. Prioritize your spending.
After healthcare, keeping your house should be your first
priority. Review your finances and see where you can cut spending
in order to make your mortgage payment. Look for optional expenses
that you can eliminate such as cable TV, memberships, or
7. Use your assets.
Do you have assets such as a second car, jewelry, or whole life
insurance policy 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
8. Avoid foreclosure prevention companies.
You don't need to pay fees for foreclosure prevention help, use
that money to pay the mortgage instead. Many for-profit companies
will contact you promising to negotiate with your lender. While
these may be legitimate businesses, they often charge a hefty fee
(often two or three month's mortgage payments). Contact your
lender or a HUD-approved housing counselor to find out about free
help that they can provide.
9. Don't lose your house to foreclosure recovery scams.
If any 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:
How to Keep your Home
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority also provides
useful information to homeowners.
Visit the State of Michigan website for more information.
Looking for Help?
Beware of Scams!
Home lending and foreclosure scams are costing Michigan
residents thousands of dollars and often their homes. Those who
are particularly vulnerable are senior citizens and those with low
incomes or poor credit. Donít allow yourself and your family to
fall victim to one of these scamsóeducate yourself.
Scams come in many forms. State Attorney General Mike Cox has
outlined many of these scams designed to strip you of your money
and in many cases your home.
Be very cautious of any claim that promises to lower your
monthly mortgage payment while also promising that in a short time
you can own your home free and clear of debt. Further, con artists
will seek you out. If you find yourself in foreclosure proceedings
and receiving solicitations at your home via telephone, letter,
home visits, etc., it is most likely these are attempts by scam
artists to take advantage of your situation.
Complaints may be filed with the Attorney Generalís Office at:
Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
Fax: (517) 241-3771
Toll Free: (877) 765-8388
www.michigan.gov/ag (online complaint form)
Assistance is Available