Foreclosure & Financial Counseling
If you are facing difficulty paying your mortgage or foreclosure, your best course of action is to seek a mortgage counselor. This section includes a link to a complete list of HUD-approved mortgage counselors*
This is a link to a website maintained by the federal government's Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It provides information on agencies based in Washington State that are part of HUD's Housing Counseling Program, or are National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) grantees through NeighborWorks® America. Note: ARCH does not provide direct assistance to households facing foreclosure.
Take Action Yourself
Click on any of the following for links to get information about what options you have:
Washington Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide
Avoiding Foreclosure Scams
Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling
Ways to Avoid Foreclosure
Refinancing and Loan Modification (including HARP)
Your Housing Options if you are Facing Foreclosure
Info at the Washington State Office of the Attorney General
Info at Washington Law Help (Solutions to civil and legal problems for low-income people)
Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (Foreclosure page)
Policy Information Regarding Foreclosure
The Emergency Homeowners Loan Program (EHLP)
The Foreclose Fairness Act Mediation Program
If you need an attorney: contact the Home Foreclosure Legal Aid Project Hotline at 1-877-894-HOME (4663) or visit their website here.
From the Federal Trade Commission’s website:
“The possibility of losing your home to foreclosure can be terrifying. The reality that scam artists are preying on the vulnerability of desperate homeowners is equally frightening. Many so-called foreclosure rescue companies or foreclosure assistance firms claim they can help you save your home. Some are brazen enough to offer a money-back guarantee. Unfortunately, once most of these foreclosure fraudsters take your money, they leave you much the worse for wear.
Fraudulent foreclosure “rescue” professionals use half truths and outright lies to sell services that promise relief and then fail to deliver. Their goal is to make a quick profit through fees or mortgage payments they collect from you, but do not pass on to the lender. Sometimes, they assume ownership of your property by deceiving you, the homeowner. Then, when it’s too late to save your home, they take the property or siphon off the equity. You’ve lost your home to foreclosure despite your best intentions.“
Click here to sign up for scam alerts and to get further information on known scams in this area.
If you are at risk of missing a payment or have missed payments, talk to your lender. You might ask your lender for forbearance (delaying action on a loan due) – if you are confident that the financial situation that has resulted in missed mortgage payments is temporary and that the lender can reasonably expect you to catch up on those missed payments then this may be an option that the lender will entertain. Forbearance gives you time to make up missed payments. Spreading out repayment of the missed payments over time might be suggested. This is known as a repayment plan. In rare instances they might even agree debt forgiveness, forgiving a payment. Other options might be refinancing to include the missed payments in the total debt owed, loan modification which changes the terms of the loan such as how long you have to repay (the amortization period) and the interest rate charged. A partial claim, that is providing a separate loan for the missed payments might be another option.
After several missed payments you will likely get a notice of default. If you have an notice of default filed against you, then you will be extended a short period of time to make up the missed payments to stop the foreclosure. If you can’t make those payments the remaining options are to sell your home, do a short sale if the amount you owe is greater than the value of the home (pre-foreclosure redeemed), or do a deed-in-lieu which gives the property back to the lender. The lender may allow you to live in the property until it is sold.
It is best to discuss these options with a foreclosure avoidance counselor. Click here for a list of HUD recommended counselors.
There has been much on the news about programs including HARP to help households with Fannie or Freddie loans. For information on refinancing and loan modifications for Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae loans click here.
For more tips on avoiding foreclosure click here.
Consult a foreclosure avoidance counselor or your lender to see if you might qualify for either refinancing or loan modification. Click here for a list of HUD approved foreclosure avoidance counselors.
You will need a place to live after going through foreclosure. A foreclosure will have an adverse effect on your credit scores and that may impact your ability to rent or get a mortgage. Your foreclosure counselor may help you sort through the possible options. Click here for a list of foreclosure avoidance counselors.
If you are looking for rental housing, click here to see get access to the Apartment Finder list of properties.
For Eastside rental options, click here to see the ARCH-maintained list of affordable rental properties.
Click on any of the following for links to get more information on government policies that help address the mortgage crisis:
National Foreclosure Policy
Resources intended to help states and localities respond to the foreclosure crisis. Site is maintained by the Center for Housing Policy, KnowledgePlex, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and the Urban Institute.
Refinancing for non-government insured mortgages
Blueprint for an American Built to Last: Making refinancing possible for responsible borrowers who do not have government insured home loans. (From President Obama's 2012 State of the Union Address)
Look up website to help determine if your mortgage qualifies for a Making Home Affordable Program refinance or modification
Part of Freddie Mac’s online guide for finding, buying and keeping a home, focused on what to do if facing foreclosure
NeighborWorks America published research and reports
Website designed to help counselors and local leaders involved in planning and implementing foreclosure intervention programs
* This is a link to a website maintained by the federal government's Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It provides information on agencies based in Washington State that are part of HUD's Housing Counseling Program, or are National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) grantees through NeighborWorks® America.