“Foreclosure” is not a word anybody wants to hear when it comes to their own home. Whether dealing with long-term financial difficulties or facing a personal emergency, nobody wants to leave their home in the midst of a crisis. Being foreclosed on can make these challenges even more devastating and lead to even more problems down the road. Fortunately, even if you are facing money woes or unable to make your mortgage payments, there are some steps you can take to avoid foreclosure.

If you are worried about the future of your home and are currently standing on shaky financial ground, consider these 7 steps to keep you out of foreclosure until you get back on your feet.  

1. Speak with Your Lender ASAP

Don’t be intimidated to speak to your lender just because you are in a difficult position. They, like you, have an interest in helping you to retain your house as they don’t want to be stuck with it. Most lenders have programs in place that are designed to assist their borrowers when they are experiencing hardships. They may be able to temporarily reduce the amount required for payment or get a lower interest rate to take some of the burden off of you. The sooner you let your lender know about your inability to pay in full, the quicker they will be able to take action to help.  

2. Make a Budget and Stick to It

Keeping your house should be your number one priority as long as you and your family are healthy and have no medical expenses. Make it a point to meticulously review your daily, weekly, and monthly spending. Cut out any unnecessary items and services that might be eating into your mortgage budget. It might be painful to give up some of the luxuries to which you’ve become accustomed, but it will be worth it in the long run if it can help you keep a roof above your head. Things like cable, dining out, and new clothes may have to be cut until you get your finances back in order.

3. Sell Assets You Don’t Need

If you have luxury items that aren’t required for survival, you might consider selling them off for cash to help you make it through the next few months. Trading in a high-value car for an economy vehicle can net you several thousand dollars, if not significantly more. Jewelry that has been sitting for years might be hard to get rid off, but can provide tremendous return, especially if you have items that are in high demand. You don’t necessarily have to sell enough to cover all of your expenses, but any sort of action proves to your lenders that you are trying to make sacrifices.

4. Brush up on Foreclosure Laws and Rights

You should always be aware of your rights when it comes to your mortgage. Every state is different, but read the literature that is relevant to where you live to get a good idea on what your lender can and cannot do when you are unable to make mortgage payments. This will help you learn how much time you have to get back in good standing and just how drastic your situation may be. It is important to educate yourself so that you don’t fall for recovery scams or end up paying bills you can’t afford to prevention services.

5. Refinance Your Home

You may be able to refinance your home to secure a lower payment or interest rate. Speak to your lender and look into options in your area for refinancing. Many people have avoided foreclosure by going this route, and lenders are often happy to help as they don’t want to have the burden of selling the house again.

6. Speak to a Housing Counselor

If you are not particularly educated on mortgages and foreclosure, you should speak to someone that has expertise in the field. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers housing counseling throughout the country for minimal fees, and in some cases, for no cost at all.  These counselors are highly trained in mortgage and foreclosure law and can translate industry jargon into understandable terms for you. They can point you in the right direction if you want to refinance, set up a repayment plan, or set up a budget for yourself and your family.

7. Sell Your Home for Cash

If you are willing to move out of your home and want to avoid foreclosure, you should strongly consider selling your house for cash. Selling for cash is often the fastest and easiest way to avoid foreclosure, especially if you are unable to commit to any repayment plans or can’t come up with the money for your next payment. With company’s like Ryan’s Buying, you can get a cash offer within 48 hours, and you have no obligation to accept if it is not satisfactory for you.  You can obtain a free estimate of your home by filling out Ryan’s Buying online submission form, which only takes minutes to do.  If you want to rid yourself of the burden of foreclosure and do so immediately, a cash sale may just be the best option for you.