Third year into the housing correction, the slide continues. 260,000 and 405,000 homes repossessed in 2006 and 2007 respectively (Jan 2008, and possibly 2.5 million in 2008 (US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, July 2008, Reuters). The recent enactment of the 3.9 billion dollar housing bill (Housing and Economic Recovery Act 2008) is surely a welcomed relief for many.

It’s one thing to line up all this assistance, it’s quite yet another whether those people in need can reach it or not. A startling one-third of Americans polled literally have no idea how much money they owe. The average American also scored only a D-grade in a survey on financial literacy. We were quick to jump onto the bandwagon of owning a home so now we better buck up on how to defend it when the situation gets rough.

Examples of how to stop foreclosure include refinancing, forbearance, loan modification, additional loan and even write-off to help affected homeowners stay in their homes. Where retaining the home is not tenable or desirable, the foreclosure can still be averted through deed-in-lieu, pre-foreclosure or short sale in order to protect the owner’s credit score while avoiding the costs and penalties of formal foreclosure proceedings.

No matter which option is eventually adopted, the manner of approach is always quite standard. People won’t be at so much of a loss when faced with foreclosure if they had the necessary knowledge and information. The key thing is to act fast and the fundamental steps are:

– Analyze the exact financial situation

– Review all available options

– Avoid the scams and cons

– Engage professionals when needed

– Follow up and follow through

Foreclosures hurt the lenders and authorities as much as they do the homeowners these days. Given the housing crisis, financial malaise and faltering economy, we can be sure that they would go out of their way to help stop foreclosure. Put bluntly, foreclosure is the knife-edge between an asset and liability insofar as houses are concerned and the last thing that’s needed now is another one crossing over into the heap.

All sorts of information and help agencies have mushroomed everywhere, not least the internet. Public information and assistance websites, real-estate brokers, banks and other lending institutions, investors and capitalists, attorneys and consultants and guides and handbooks can be found in abundance online, all possible solutions to how to stop foreclosure. Then, there are also loads of scams and crooks so watch out, you don’t want to be burnt further!

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