What is foreclosure
Foreclosure is a legal action used by a mortgage company to recover money from a customer who does not pay his or her debt in accordance with the terms of the mortgage agreement. The foreclosure process begins with the first missed mortgage payment.
Reasons for pending foreclosure
Foreclosure is something that many people think can never happen to them. The reality is - it can happen to anyone. A homeowner may face sudden extenuating circumstances that force them to stop making timely payments. Here are a few of those reasons:
- Rising interest rates.
- Health problems.
- Death of a family member.
Ways to avoid foreclosure
If you are having difficulty making a payment, or you anticipate a problem in meeting your mortgage obligations in the future, contact your lender immediately. Lenders would rather work out a payment schedule than let the borrower get further and further behind.
The following files offer more information about avoiding foreclosure:
- Tips for Talking with your Lender
- How to Write a Hardship Letter
- Understanding Workout Options
- What is "Short sale"?
- What is "Deed in lieu of foreclosure"?
Beware of mortgage foreclosure and short sale scams
- Minnesota Home Ownership Center's "LOOK Before You Leap" offers tips on what you should look for or consider before making an agreement to work with any person or organization that offers to help with loan modification, reverse mortgage, or other foreclosure prevention measures. This link also offers resource numbers to call for help in your area and offers the opportunity to submit questions you may have, while online.
- The Federal Trade Commission's "Foreclosure Rescue Scams"
- The Federal Reserve Board's "5 Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure Scams"
- Consumer Alert: Fees for Loan Modifications
- Short sale fraud scams to avoid
Need help understanding foreclosure?
If you feel that you need more information to help you understand the foreclosure process, your rights and what steps to take, try the links below. These organizations offer assistance in helping homeowners to avoid foreclosure.
- Community Action Partnership - CAP Hotline: 952-933-1993
- Home Ownership Center
- HUD - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Minnesota Housing Agency
Minnesota's new Foreclosure Postponement Law
(effective June 15, 2009)
Minnesota's new Foreclosure Postponement Law allows homeowners that have fallen behind on their mortgage payments to postpone the 'Sheriff's Sale' or Sheriff's Auction by five months. Click on the following links for more information.
President Obama's 'Making Home Affordable' plan:
What does it mean for Minnesotans?
Check these websites for more information:
Free foreclosure workshops and programs
Minnesota Home Ownership Program workshops
In partnership with Hennepin County, Hennepin County Libraries, Saint Paul Public Libraries and Washington County Libraries, the Home Ownership Center is offering a number of community workshops for homeowners facing foreclosure. These workshops will provide information on what happens during foreclosures, homeowners' rights, and solutions for long-term housing needs. Participants will be able to ask questions and get free advice - confidentially - from mortgage lending and foreclosure specialists.
For more information and directions, see Minnesota Home Ownership Center.
Workshops on Video
Hennepin County, through its Public Affairs and Taxpayer Services departments, in partnership with Minnesota Home Ownership Center, is now offering its web-based, mortgage foreclosure workshop on video and in English or Spanish. The workshop includes information about the foreclosure process, rights during foreclosure, and available assistance for homeowners, as well as renters.
Foreclosure information for military personnel
For questions and answers for reservists, guardsmen, and other military personnel, go to:
Foreclosure information for renters
- HomeLine: resources for information and legal advice
- What you should know if your landlord is foreclosed upon
- Hennepin County Sheriff's Foreclosures page
Find listings within Hennepin County. You may search by specific address, mortgagor or lien type.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's "HUD Homes" page
Locate properties that have been acquired by HUD as a result of a foreclosure action on an FHA-insured mortgage.