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Mark Cappel
UpdatedAug 20, 2007

Can a refinance help me avoid foreclosure?

I am about to lose my home. It is in foreclosure now. I have been waiting for my deceased husband's insurance from the VA to pay me. As of this date it will be 2 years since his death. Is there a way you can help me save my home and get me out of this ARM my husband signed at our closing? I have been trying to get refinanced because the payments have gone up 3 times since 2005. I am on disability along with his spousal benefits, and his retirement from the d.o.d. where he also retired from my total income a month is 1440.00 my house payment is 722.00MO W/TAXES/INSURANCE. Can you help me save my home from foreclosure and refinance it at a fixed rate to lower my payments and get some equity out to do some much needed home improvements? I do not want to lose my home. How can I avoid foreclosure?

As you seem to be aware, probably the best way to resolve your financial predicament is by refinancing your current adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate loan at a lower interest rate and, hopefully, with lower monthly payments. Unfortunately, the mortgage market has tightened up significantly in the past few months, making it much more difficult for consumers experiencing financial difficulties to obtain refinance loans.

The only way to determine whether or not you will qualify for a refinance loan is to apply for a loan with several different lenders and/or brokers. Not only will these mortgage professionals be able to tell you whether or not your currently qualify, but if you do not qualify, they can tell you what aspects of your financial situation are causing you problems, and make suggestions about how to improve your chances to qualify for a loan. They may also be able to direct you to other available resources available to assist you in saving your home. If you would like to read more about mortgage refinance loans, I encourage you to visit the Home Refinance Resources page. If you enter your contact information in the Savings Center at the top of the page, we can have several pre-screened mortgage brokers contact you to discuss the loan options available to you.

Another option you may want to consider is a reverse mortgage on your home. If you qualify for a reverse mortgage, and if you have sufficient equity to make a reverse mortgage a feasible option, this type of loan could significantly improve your financial situation. Basically, a reverse mortgage would pay off your previous mortgage, then pay you a fixed amount of money each month based on the equity in your home. After you pass away, your heirs would have the option to either pay off the reverse mortgage loan, or allow your home to pass to the reverse mortgage lenders. Many seniors who have equity in their home but do not have a sufficient monthly income to support themselves find reverse mortgages to be an excellent option. To learn more about reverse mortgage loans, I invite you to visit the Reverse Mortgage Information page.

If you find that you do not qualify for a conventional refinance loan or a reverse mortgage, you may want to consider selling your home. While I know that selling the home that you and your late husband lived in may be an unpleasant thought, selling the home on your own terms is certainly preferable to the possibility of losing the equity you and your husband have worked to build in foreclosure proceedings. If you think that selling your home may be the best course of action to take, you should speak to a real estate broker to determine the current prices in your neighborhood and whether or not selling your home is a wise decision under current market conditions.

While I encourage you to explore your options regarding refinance, reverse mortgage, and the possible sale of your home, you should also contact your current mortgage company to discuss any assistance they can offer you with your mortgage payments. Many mortgage lenders will assist borrowers, especially those with extreme financial hardships such as yours, with bringing their loans current.

I also recommend that you consult with an attorney in your area, if you have not already done so, to discuss the delay in receiving your husband’s life insurance proceeds, and what legal remedies, if any, are available to you help you obtain those funds, as that would likely help solve your financial predicament. Since you are living on a fixed income, you may qualify for legal assistance through your local or county Legal Aid Society. Look in your phonebook to find the Legal Aid office in your area, or contact your county or state bar association to discuss legal assistance for seniors and the disabled.

I wish you the best of luck in resolving your financial predicament. I hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.