Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What Is Loss Mitigation?

Loss Mitigation is the art of helping delinquent homeowners, in or close to foreclosure, to save their home and of trying to stop a home foreclosure before it happens. It is an intervention program designed to help homeowners save their homes from foreclosure, through third party negotiations with the lender or investor. Although it seems as though Loss Mitigation is a new concept, it is a process that has been around for many years and can save homeowners and lenders tens of thousands of dollars (as well as a little heartache and time consumption).

Foreclosures and mortgage delinquencies are destroying the "American Dream" and are at an all time high right now and number in the millions. We could be facing the highest foreclosure rates in history and with option ARMs still adjusting, there is no significant ending in sight. Loss Mitigation is the most effective method of avoiding or stopping the foreclosure process which culminates in the sale of the property at a public auction. The goal of Loss Mitigation is to work out an agreement between the homeowner and the lender that will stop the foreclosure proceedings permanently. A truly successful Loss Mitigation workup will take the homeowners future ability to pay into account as well as their past arrears so that the homeowner does not get themselves into default again.

Homeowners are losing their homes at record rates with no end in sight. They often believe the answer to their prayers is refinancing their home and getting away from their current lender. However, they need to be very careful if they are relying on refinancing as the way to save their home from foreclosure. By the time their properties have gotten into default, they have missed at least 2 months of mortgage payments. Not paying a mortgage for 2 months or more is detrimental to a credit score and thus, they cannot qualify for refinancing the loan. The only viable option for most of these homeowners is Loss Mitigation.

Loss Mitigation is a process in which lenders help borrowers that are in danger of default, avoid foreclosure. Every homeowner's situation is unique and each lender has their own policies regarding the use of these programs to stop foreclosure. Before a foreclosure or bankruptcy occurs after a one or two months default, a repayment plan may be proposed to the delinquent mortgage holder by a Loss Mitigation specialist to satisfy the amount owed to a bank or lender. Many banks and lenders want to avoid the foreclosure process since, on average; both homeowner and lender stand to lose tens of thousands of dollars. Lenders ultimately want to keep the home owner in their home and it is up to the home owner to show that they will be able to catch up or maintain the mortgage payment in the future. Borrowers must be encouraged to retain home ownership through scenarios that provide the borrower and lender/servicer with an optimal outcome. Often with the home owner they get stonewalled at the first level, and sadly the first tier in Loss Mitigation is really a glorified collections department. By hiring a third party Loss Mitigation negotiation company, the homeowner's best interests can be fought for. In reality, a Loss Mitigation workup is in the lenders best interest as well taking into account the amount of money they stand to lose during the foreclosure process.

Loss Mitigation is the art of negotiating, on behalf of the homeowner, with the lender (or investor), stopping the foreclosure process, and coming to a settlement. Loss mitigation is often the better choice for the homeowner that is trying to save their home from foreclosure. When Loss Mitigation isn't a viable solution, other options are available to create win-win strategies with the homeowner and can be employed to help the homeowner avoid the foreclosure (possibly avoiding bankruptcy and 10 years of bad credit).

Chris Taylor is a Certified Loss Mitigation Consultant and mortgage broker in Denver, Colorado. He works primarily toward helping homeowners keep their home from foreclosure and to help first time homeowners purchase their very first home by using rent to own and owner financing techniques. To find out more information about Chris Taylor and what he is doing to help others stay in their home, check out his website http://www.866soshome.com/ or call him at 866-767-4663

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