Before your lender can auction your house at a foreclosure sale, you will get a formal notice about the foreclosure.

If you have received foreclosure papers, you have a certain amount of time to take action. How much time you have differs from state to state.

Here are actions to take once you have received the foreclosure papers.

Take Note of the Date

You should record the date that you received the foreclosure papers. You might receive them in the mail or from the sheriff’s department.

Since you only have a certain amount of time to respond, you will need to know when your response must be submitted. You will need to act quickly to make sure you have taken all the necessary steps before the deadline.

Make Efforts to Bring Your Mortgage Current

At this point, no date has been set to auction your home. Therefore, you can still make every attempt to pay your past due amount on your mortgage. If you can pay what you owe plus any late fees and interest, your lender should stop the foreclosure process.

Whether you can ask a family member for help or sell some personal belongings to get on track, this is, by far, the best option for the homeowner and the lender.

Find an Experienced Attorney at Law Zebra

Hiring a Law Zebra attorney will help you in the foreclosure process.

An experienced attorney can walk you through the process of foreclosure and tell you your options. He or she can also help come up with a plan going forward.

If you want to contest the foreclosure or not, your attorney will make sure that you are given a fair shake and give you every opportunity to keep your home.

Attempt to Workout Foreclosure with your Lender

Your lender would prefer not to go through the foreclosure process, either. The best possible scenario for you and your lender would be to work out the foreclosure. Be open and honest with your lender. Clear communication is critical.

Be sure to express your determination to get back on track with your payments.

Determine if you qualify for a Loan Modification

Negotiating a modification to the loan on your mortgage could help you avoid foreclosure if you are having trouble keeping up with the payments.

A mortgage loan modification is one of the most common techniques to prevent foreclose.

The modification changes the terms in the original loan documents. The amendment could lower monthly payments, interest rates, or lengthen the duration of the loan.

If you and your lender can agree on a loan modification that helps you keep your home, it is a win situation for both of you.

Decide What Foreclosure Direction You Want to Go In

If you don’t qualify for a loan modification or your lender cannot reach an agreement that would allow you to catch up with your past-due amount, there are other options you can look into.

One option is a short sale.

A short sale doesn’t allow you to keep your home, but it does let you stop the foreclosure process. You can attempt to find a buyer for your home. A lender will usually accept a reasonable offer from a buyer. Before foreclosure, getting an offer will save them time and trouble if they were to attempt to sell the property after the foreclosure was finished.

Another less appealing option is bankruptcy.

While bankruptcy is far less than ideal, it will immediately halt all foreclosure proceedings once you file. Bankruptcy doesn’t guarantee that you will keep your home, but it does give you the chance to have a bankruptcy trustee mediate between you and your lender to come up with a reasonable plan for repayment.

A deed in lieu may also be an option.

A deed in lieu is when the homeowner signs the deed back over to the bank, voluntarily. While this rarely happens and still affects your credit, it does stop the foreclosure process and could save you trouble and stress if there are no other options.

Be sure to educate yourself about the process of foreclosure and know all your options.

The foreclosure process can be tricky to navigate on your own. Finding a qualified and experienced lawyer will help you tremendously during this time.

It is in your best interest to obtain a Law Zebra attorney immediately after receiving foreclosure papers.