What Can I Do to Stop Foreclosure if I'm 90 Days late With the Mortgage Payment?

Full Question:

We are 90 days late on our mortgage. We just received a letter that they are going to begin foreclosure process. Is there anything we can do to get caught up & get out of foreclosure status? We now have the money to get our payments caught up. Will we have to get a lawyer to help us out of this?
08/31/2011   |   Category: Real Property ยป Foreclosure   |   State: Texas   |   #25433


It is not too late to negotiate with the lender. An attorney is not required, but if you handle it youself you should do so without delay. Depending on the situation, a lender may consider one of the following:

Loan Workout: A loan workout modifies the original loan agreement. Some of these changes may include forbearance (e.g. forgiving a portion of the debt or late charges); deferment; renegotiating interest rate, monthly payment amount, principal amount, maturity date; or the enforcement an acceleration clause in the loan.

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure: After the borrower is in default, the borrower voluntarily delivers title to the lender for consideration and the lender accepts the conveyance of the property in full satisfaction of the mortgage debt. You can raise your FICO score with deed in lieu by asking the lender to report your situation as PAID - SETTLED instead of foreclosure. Using this method, the lender saves the costs of foreclosure and the borrower avoids having a notice of default on his/her records.

A deed in lieu of foreclosure is a method sometimes used by a lienholder on property to avoid a lengthy and expensive foreclosure process, With a deed in lieu of foreclosure (DIL), a foreclosing lienholder agrees to have the ownership interest transferred to the bank/lienholder as payment in full. The debtor basically deeds the property to the bank instead of them paying for foreclosure procedings. Therefore, if a debtor fails to make mortgage payments and the bank is about to foreclose on the property, the deed in lieu of foreclosure is an option that chooses to give the bank ownership of the property rather than having the bank use the legal process of foreclosure.

A DIL can be used in limited circumstances. The debtor must have exhausted all efforts to sell the home professionally marketed at it's as-is, fair market value. The debtor also can't have another mortgage in default and must not have the ability to make the monthy payment or make up the difference between the sale price and what is owed.

When a lender agrees to accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure, there is no guarantee that it will forgive any outstanding balance owed under the promissory note. However, it is common for the borrower to ask for that debt forgiveness. If the lender agrees, it is wise to document it in writing.

Short Sale: A short sale is a transaction in which a lender allows the real property securing the loan to be sold for less than the remaining mortgage amount due and accepts the proceeds as full payment of the loan. A lender may accept a short sale when the borrower is in severe financial straits and market conditions make a short sale the best choice to mitigate the lender's damages. Like a deed in lieu of foreclosure this saves the lender the costs of foreclosure and the borrower avoids having a foreclosure on his or her credit report.

Short Payoff: With a short payoff, the lender accepts less than the remaining mortgage amount as full payment of the loan. The property need not be sold.

Injunctive relief consists of a court order called an injunction, requiring an individual to do or not do a specific action. It must be proven that without the injunction, harm will occur which cannot be remedied by money damages. To issue a preliminary injunction, the courts typically require proof that

(1) the movant has a ‘strong’ likelihood of success on the merits;
(2) the movant would otherwise suffer irreparable injury;
(3) the issuance of a preliminary injunction wouldn't cause substantial harm to others; and
(4) the public interest would be served by issuance of a preliminary injunction.

In foreclosure lawsuits, the debtor typically asks the court for three things, in the following order:

-a temporary restraining order (which lasts for a certain number of days, typically under 2 weeks)

-a preliminary injunction (will last until the court decides the case), and

-a permanent injunction (which will be granted if you win your case).

Types of Foreclosure.

The mortgage holder can usually initiate foreclosure anytime after a default on the mortgage. Within the United States, there exist several types of foreclosure. Two are widely used, with the rest being possibilities only in a few states.

The most important type of foreclosure is foreclosure by judicial sale. This is available in every state and is the required method in many. It involves the sale of the mortgaged property done under the supervision of a court, with the proceeds going first to satisfy the mortgage, and then to satisfy other lien holders, and finally to the mortgagor. Because it is a legal action, all the proper parties must be notified of the foreclosure, and there will be both pleadings and some sort of judicial decision, usually after a short trial.

The second type of foreclosure, foreclosure by power of sale, involves the sale of the property by the mortgage holder not through the supervision of a court. Where it is available, foreclosure by power of sale is generally a more expedient way of foreclosing on a property than foreclosure by judicial sale. The majority of states allow this method of foreclosure, including New Hampshire. Again, proceeds from the sale go first to the mortgage holder, then to other lien holders, and finally to the mortgagor.

Other types of foreclosure are only available in limited places and are therefore considered minor methods of foreclosure. Strict foreclosure is one example. Under strict foreclosure, when a mortgagor defaults, a court orders the mortgagor to pay the mortgage within a certain period of time. If the mortgagor fails, the mortgage holder automatically gains title, with no obligation to sell the property. Strict foreclosure was the original method of foreclosure, but today it is only available in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Statutory Redemption.

Statutory redemption allows the mortgagor to redeem the mortgage even after foreclosure sale. About one-half the states have statutory redemption laws. Generally, these laws give anywhere from six months to a year for the mortgagor to redeem the mortgage by payment of the foreclosure sale price plus a statutory rate of interest to the sale purchaser. Junior lien holders also have a right to redeem under these statutes, in order of their priority, though not until the period for the mortgagor to redeem runs out. As a rule, the mortgagor can retain possession of their property during this statutory redemption period.


The filing of any bankruptcy action automatically stays a foreclosure proceeding, regardless of type. At that point, whether the stay will be lifted depends on whether the mortgagor has equity in the mortgaged property. If the bankruptcy has been filed under a Chapter 11 petition, the bankruptcy court may "terminate, annul, modify or condition such stay" for cause, including the lack of adequate protection of an interest in property of the mortgage holder, or if the mortgagor does not have equity in the property and the property is not necessary for an effective reorganization.

If it has been filed as a straight bankruptcy petition, asking for discharge of all debts, the mortgage holder will be allowed to foreclose if the bankrupt debtor has no equity in the property. If there is equity in the property, the property can be sold by the bankruptcy court.

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