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Unlocking the ‘Door’ to Foreclosure Market – 10 Must-Know Tips

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RISMEDIA, March 14, 2008-Foreclosures are hitting record numbers across the country. To assist homeowners, FrontDoor.com, a new real estate website powered by HGTV, is offering a foreclosure guide that provides much needed resources to successfully navigate and understand today’s complex real estate market.According to the company, this user-friendly guide at FrontDoor.com breaks down foreclosure covering everything from clearly defining the basic types of foreclosure to the pitfalls of foreclosure law to tips on how to approach financing to help avoid foreclosure. A distressed market can also present opportunities for buyers and this guide will assist those looking for a bargain to make sure they aren’t getting more than they bargained for!

FrontDoor.com’s Top 10 Things to Know about Foreclosure

1) Foreclosure is a process, not a thing.

People often misuse the term “foreclosure.” Foreclosure is a series of events, not a state of being. Lenders don’t foreclose on homeowners; they foreclose on property.

2) The foreclosure process has four phases. The terms and length of each phase vary by state.

Your rights and options as a homeowner vary depending on the stage your home is in and the state you live in. Know what laws apply to you. For instance, if you’ve missed three mortgage payments or less, you typically have a little time to work with your lender to “cure” the default. In many states, you have until the auction date to get your payments up-to-date.

3) A difficult financial situation doesn’t have to lead to foreclosure.
There are several steps you can take to avoid foreclosure if your loan is about to adjust, you lose your job or otherwise anticipate that you might miss mortgage payments. For instance, if your ARM reset will double your mortgage payments, show your lender documentation of your income and debts to make a convincing case for a loan modification.

4) The mortgage lender is not eager to take your house away.

Lenders are not in the business of managing real estate, so they would rather work with homeowners to keep them in the house. And with the growing number of defaults across the country, your lender may be more open to cutting a deal.

5) You can sell your home immediately when foreclosure is looming.

Even if you live in a tough market, being aggressive and keeping your home in good condition can help you get a speedy sale.

6) All is not lost once you get a notice of default.

If you’ve missed more than three mortgage payments, you still have some alternatives for stopping the foreclosure process.

7) A short sale is better than going through foreclosure.

Lenders don’t typically forgive mortgages, but in a market with lots of inventory, they would rather see the house sold for less than the mortgage, than deal with trying to sell it themselves.

8) Foreclosure has major legal, tax and credit consequences.

Foreclosure will heavily impact your ability to borrow money in the future, so make sure you’ve exhausted all other options first.

9) Buying a foreclosure property doesn’t always mean you’ll get a bargain.

Your buying strategy depends on the stage of foreclosure the property is in and the state you live in. Finding a turnkey property in the foreclosure market is rare. Oftentimes, the home will need some renovation. Crunch the numbers first to make sure you really are getting a deal.

10) Understanding your mortgage can help you avoid foreclosure.

Many homeowners who end up in foreclosure say they were unaware of some crucial pieces of information about their mortgage. Read all the loan documents, ask questions and consult with an attorney if you can.

The company says that FrontDoor is like house hunting with an in-the-know friend. Use this helpful guide to stay ahead of a sluggish market and look for more advice, insight and assistance at FrontDoor.com, including new videos from the Savvy Woman Homebuyer expert Tara-Nicholle Nelson with more foreclosure information that offers upside for a down market.

For more information, visit http://www.frontdoor.com.

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