Foreclosure is the kind of thing many people assume will never happen to them until it does. It can happen in a hurry, too. An unexpected turn in your finances sprouts up. You fall behind on mortgage payments. And before you know it, your house is in foreclosure. It’s easy for it to be feel like once the process starts you can’t stop foreclosure, especially when lenders start acting aggressively in an attempt to make you feel as though your only option is to do what they tell you.
However, there are certainly other ways to stop or prevent foreclosure proceedings, many of which allow you to maintain autonomy and control over what happens next. Whether you file for bankruptcy, apply for a loan modification, use the legal system, or sell your house for cash to a real estate investor, it is indeed possible to delay or even stop foreclosure, even with days to go before a deadline. Here’s a full guide on how to stop foreclosure in Houston, TX.
5 Tips to Stop Foreclosures in Houston, Texas
You Can File for Bankruptcy
If the clock is ticking and you want to stop proceedings before the lender forecloses on your Houston house, you can go ahead and declare bankruptcy. Doing this will automatically stop foreclosure in its tracks regardless of any deadlines, thanks to an automatic stay that goes into effect. This will prohibit a lender from collecting on any debt while the bankruptcy process plays out, buying you some much-needed time.
It is possible that the lender can file a motion for relief during the stay. The court may or may not grant this, but even if they do, that will still delay the foreclosure for at least a month, giving you some extra time to figure things out.
While it might sound like the obvious solution, there are drawbacks to declaring bankruptcy that you’ll want to consider. Your credit score is going to take a major hit, which will make it very difficult for you to get loans or credit in the near future. It also means you won’t be able to file bankruptcy again for a long time. And it allowed for creditors to attempt different collection actions against you, such as wage garnishment.
It’s also very important to know the difference between Chapter 13 bankruptcy and Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you want to try to keep the house in Houston, Texas, you’re going to want to pursue Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If your goal is more to buy some time and you’re not as concerned with keeping the house, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy might make more sense.
You Can Apply for a Loan Modification
If time is running out and you haven’t already done so, you can apply for a loan modification or similar foreclosure avoidance process that can help slow things down and give you a chance to get back on track.
A loan modification can delay foreclosure proceedings because lenders are often restricted from pursuing foreclosure while a loss-mitigation application is currently pending (often known as dual tracking). Then, if your modification is approved, the foreclosure process will end and you’ll be able to start fresh with a new payment plan. This is a good way to not only get around foreclosure but also get a chance to wipe the slate clean.
Of course, your lender has to be open to a loan modification on your Houston house. Plus, if you don’t make the payments this time, the foreclosure process could start up soon again and you’ll find yourself right back where you started.
You Can File a Lawsuit Against Your Lender
If the bank or lender is attempting to foreclose on your property using a nonjudicial (not in court) process, you might be able to stop them simply by filing a lawsuit against them in a Houston court. If the foreclosure is already judicial, this tactic usually won’t work because you will have already been heard in court and a judge will have made a ruling by now.
What you will have to do to delay or stop the foreclosure is to prove that the lender should not be able to move forward because of certain circumstances. Those circumstances can by any number of things, including not acting according to Texas mediation requirements, not being able to prove it owns the promissory note on the property, violating the Homeowner Bill of Rights in the state of Texas, not following the requirements of the foreclosure process, or making some other kind of major error that you can prove. A good lawyer may be able to legally figure out the loophole that provides you with one of these.
Before you file a lawsuit, it’s important to consider that it’s possible you won’t win. If that’s the case, all you will have ultimately accomplished is causing a slight delay, not to mention money spent out of your pockets to pay legal fees. Also, if your case is considered frivolous by a judge, you could end up on the hook for court fees and lender attorney fees. So be sure of this decision before you make it.
You Can Contact a Houston-Area Attorney
If you want to exhaust all your options in delaying the foreclosure, it’s worth a shot to reach out to a local attorney who deals in these in foreclosure and other financial situations for a no-fee consultation. Look specifically for an attorney who specializes in foreclosure, bankruptcy, or similar issues. They will be able to provide you with time-tested possibilities for getting the foreclosure pushed back or canceled. And if you like what they have to say you can move forward, though you’ll have to pay their fees moving forward.
Along with speaking with an attorney, you may also want to speak with a HUD-approved housing counselor. They can provide you with information and assistance you need to avoid foreclosure as well.
You Can Sell Your Houston House As-Is for Cash
If the clock is ticking and you find yourself out of options on how to avoid foreclosure, one thing you can do is sell your house or property as-is to a real estate investor like Very Fast Home Buyers. Even though foreclosure is imminent, as long as the bank doesn’t own the house yet, we can make you a cash offer and take it off your hands before it’s too late. You don’t need to do anything to the property or worry about the financial situation.
Simply contact us with all the details about your house in foreclosure in Houston, TX. We’ll assess the property and then make you a fair offer, paying you in cash if you decide to accept. If you approve, you set the conditions of closing, which can often be within a few days. You won’t need to make any repairs or deal with the financial situation any further. You can walk away from the house with cash in your hand and let us deal with the foreclosure situation.
Contact us today to get started and find out how to sell your house for cash before foreclosure.