A foreclosure can be a devastating experience for any homeowner. Foreclosure not only means the homeowner may lose their home, but also brings with it credit damage. When a homeowner starts struggling to make mortgage payments it is an early sign that a foreclosure may be in the future. Homeowners should learn to recognize and handle these early signs of a foreclosure so they can avoid the whole damaging process.
When a foreclosure begins it starts a legal process that is hard to get out of without some financial or credit damage. Fortunately there are early signs that a homeowner may be in danger of a foreclosure. The following list explains some early signs of a foreclosure:
- Problems paying bills on time.
- Behind on basic bills, like mortgage and utilities.
- Using credit to make purchases that should be made with cash.
- Using savings to pay bills.
Once a homeowner sees any of these signs they should immediate begin to handle the problem. If not taken care of these small problems could very well lead to major problems, like foreclosure.
Handling financial problems is becoming more and more important. With credit easily and readily available some people are falling into the credit trap. The credit trap is where a person starts using credit cards as if they were cash and burying themselves in debt. The following tips can help a homeowner who is experiencing early signs of financial trouble.
- Make a budget and stick to it. Writing up all expenses and allotting money to pay bills is the best way to ensure spending is kept under control. Sticking to the budget is the key, though. It is very easy to stray from the budget. That is why it is important to also set up savings as part of a budget for emergency expenses that are not planned for in the budget.
- Track spending. Tracking spending is a great way for a person to figure out spending problems. Tracking spending involves writing down every penny spent. This can help a person to see if they are overspending on certain things.
- Use credit cards only if they can be paid back when due. Credit cards are best used if the person can pay back the amount spent in full each month. The fees and charges associated with credit cards can eat away at a budget and provide an unstable financial future. Credit card spending should be limited to emergencies or large purchases when cash is not immediately available. Many people end up in financial trouble due to abuse of credit cards.
- Talk with lenders to try to renegotiate payment plans. Most creditors understand that situations arise that make it hard for a person to pay their bills. Creditors are not the enemy and will most often do everything possible to help a person that is willing to try and solve a problem before it becomes a crisis.
These tips not only can help clear up financial trouble, but also help a homeowner to avoid foreclosure.
Foreclosure is bad for everyone involved. Banks do not like having to take a house back and will work with a homeowner to help them get financial back on track. For someone who is experiencing early warning signs that a foreclosure may be in the future, trying to fix the problems is the best way to avoid a foreclosure.