Ask Kate Homeowner Foreclosure Question

by Brenda G from Richmond, VA

Homeowners ask Kate their mortgagae foreclosure question: My sister and I own our house together. We each pay half of the mortgage. We are now one month behind for September which we will pay this week. We had a call today saying if we did not pay today the mortgage company, they would start foreclosure proceedings. Can they do this after only one month's lateness?


Kate answers: Homeowner Foreclosure Question and Answer

***zz-portrait-left.shtml*** Dear Brenda,

After a homeowner is late on even one monthly house payment, late fees, penalties, and interest charges can be tacked onto the principal balance of the mortgage.

In order to avoid that becoming a regular occurrence, the most important thing is to bring your payments current and continue paying them on time whenever possible.

Otherwise, call your mortgage servicer immediately. Explain you do not want to lose your home and ask the bank to work with you. Ask about their Making Home Affordable foreclosure alternatives, also called HAFA.

Explain to your lender that you do not intend for your home to progress into foreclosure proceedings and ask what they require of you to bring the mortgage current.

Note: Some homeowners are confused over who to contact when they begin having financial trouble. Refer to Stop Foreclosure Now for tips on locating a loan servicer.

Good luck and best wishes,


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Home just foreclosed but hoping to use the redemption period to buy back the house.
by: Shirley J. from Detroit, Michigan

In 2007, I took out a $60,000 home equity line of credit. Within the last two years due my health, I fell behind and was unable to make payments. As a result I tried doing a HAFA short sale last year on the property which was approved for $22,500. Unfortunately the bank denied it, saying buyer didn't qualify.

Now there are some unusual circumstances surrounding all the problems I'm having with real estate agents and Bank of America. The property is in a 6 month redemption period and I need to find out what I can do as the homeowner.

Bank of America wants over $83,000. What are my options in saving my home or selling it to a potential buyer?

Hi Shirley, Kate here...

While the success rate is not extremely high, some type of redemption period is offered by law to homeowners in most states, if not all, to give them the opportunity to reclaim their property in foreclosure.

The reason I say this doesn't often pan out is because the homeowner must pay the bank a pretty hefty sum to buy back their property. Having that kind of money at their disposal, or being able to borrow it, is not common for borrowers in financial distress.

But it sounds like you could have the resources to pull this off! So call your loan servicer to see what your next step would be. I also recommend contacting an attorney to learn your specific rights in Michigan.

If you'd like another go at a short sale, read up on the process at Short Sale vs Foreclosure.

Best wishes for saving your home, Kate

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