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HUD   >   Topic Areas   >   Avoiding Foreclosure   >   Are you at risk of foreclosure and losing your home?
Are you at risk of foreclosure and losing your home?
Foreclosure doesn't happen overnight

Have you missed your house payment?

 - Call toll free (800) 569-4287 to find a housing counselor near you, or
 - Call the Homeowners Hope Hotline at (888) 995-HOPE.

Haven't missed a house payment yet, but afraid you might?

Has your financial situation changed due to a mortgage payment increase, loss of job, divorce, medical expenses, increase in taxes or other reasons?

 - Is your credit card debt becoming unmanageable?
 - Are you using your credit cards to buy groceries?
 - Is it becoming difficult to pay all your monthly bills on time?

If it’s becoming harder to make your house payment each month:

 - Call toll free (800) 569-4287 to find a housing counselor near you.

Few people think they will lose their home; they think they have more time.

Here's how it happens. Note: Timeline varies by state.

 - First month missed payment – your lender will contact you by letter or phone. A housing counselor can help.

 - Second month missed payment – your lender is likely to begin calling you to discuss why you have not made your payments. It is important that you take their phone calls. Talk to your lender and explain your situation and what you are trying to do to resolve it. At this time, you still may be able to make one payment to prevent yourself from falling three months behind. A housing counselor can help.

 - Third month missed payment after the third payment is missed, you will receive a letter from your lender stating the amount you are delinquent, and that you have 30 days to bring your mortgage current. This is called a "Demand Letter" or "Notice to Accelerate." If you do not pay the specified amount or make some type of arrangements by the given date, the lender may begin foreclosure proceedings. They are unlikely to accept less than the total due without arrangements being made if you receive this letter. You still have time to work something out with your lender. A housing counselor can still help.

 - Fourth month missed payment – now you are nearing the end of time allowed in your Demand or Notice to Accelerate Letter. When the 30 days ends, if you have not paid the full amount or worked our arrangements you will be referred to your lender's attorneys. You will incur all attorney fees as part of your delinquency. A housing counselor can still help you.

 - Sheriff's or Public Trustee's Sale – the attorney will schedule a Sale. This is the actual day of foreclosure. You may be notified of the date by mail, a notice is taped to your door, and the sale may be advertised in a local paper. The time between the Demand or Notice to Accelerate Letter and the actual Sale varies by state. In some states it can be as quick as 2-3 months. This is not the move-out date, but the end is near. You have until the date of sale to make arrangements with your lender, or pay the total amount owed, including attorney fees.

 - Redemption Period – after the sale date, you may enter a redemption period. You will be notified of your time frame on the same notice that your state uses for your Sheriff's or Public Trustee's Sale.

Important: Stay in contact with your lender, and get assistance as early as possible. All dates are estimated and vary according to your state and your mortgage company.