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5 tips to keep your family home out of foreclosure

If you are in danger of having no home for the holidays due to foreclosure on your property, you should know that it's not a foregone conclusion. There are steps you can take to keep from losing your house, but you need to take action.

-- Don't let unopened mail from your lender pile up. Ignoring the problem and letting their calls go to voice mailboxes that are full is not going to stop the foreclosure process.

-- Be proactive. As soon as you realize that you are having trouble meeting your financial obligation to your mortgage holder, contact them. The earlier this is done, the more options that will be available to you.

-- Curb your spending habits. Cut way back, to subsistence levels, if necessary. You will need to do more than skip a few lattes. You might have to let student loans go into arrears and unsecured debt on credit cards mount until you can dig yourself out of this hole. But call those creditors, too. They may have options to offer you as well.

-- Cull your assets. Cashing in or borrowing against life insurance policies may be necessary. If you live in an area where you have access to public transportation, consider selling your car. If you can't bear to sell your heirloom jewelry, ask a reputable pawnbroker what he or she would give you on a loan for it.

-- Take a second — or even third — job. The holidays are fast approaching, and retail outlets will be hiring seasonal help. If you have a skill that could earn some extra cash for a few hours a week, e.g., blogging, tutoring, mystery shopping, etc., supplement your income that way.

Make sure that your lender is aware of your efforts to continue making payments on your mortgage, as it does matter. When all else fails, you can always retain an attorney to file bankruptcy, thereby stopping the foreclosure process in its tracks.

Source: Findlaw, "10 Tips to Avoid Foreclosure," accessed Nov. 04, 2016

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