Facing Foreclosure? 12 Things You Should Know When You Call Your Lender

If you are having trouble making payments on your home then the first thing you should do is call your lender/servicer. For many people this can be a frightening proposition. You might be afraid you’ll end up saying something that will put your home in jeopardy. Or, you might not understand the different options the lender offers. Or, you may simply just not know what to say.

The Mortgage Bankers Association has created a foreclosure avoidance center website. Under this page it has published a twelve-step guide on the things you need to know when you call your lender. This should ease your fears a bit. Additionally, as you go through this guide you’ll realize that a successful resolution is in the lenders best interest as well. Contrary to public perception the bank does not want to own your home and bank executives do not go to bed at night salivating at the prospect of foreclosing on your home.

Below is a quick run down of the twelve steps, but read the “12 Things You Should Know When You Call Your Lender” page on their webpage for complete information.

  1. Contact your servicer immediately
  2. Ask your servicer about alternatives to foreclosure
  3. Provide any information requested by your servicer
  4. Be prepared to provide detailed financial information
  5. Be ready to change your spending habits
  6. If you’re uncomfortable calling your servicer, then call a reputable third party (see HUD website)
  7. Open all mail you receive from the servicer or it’s law firm
  8. Do not hesitate to ask critical questions
  9. Resolve any payment issues on your escrow accounts (taxes and insurance)
  10. Stay in contact with your servicer and/or counselor at all times
  11. Be realistic about your own financial condition
  12. Understand that the servicer wants a positive outcome

Related entry: Kits to help you avoid foreclosure and payment defaults

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