An important distinction: initiated versus completed foreclosures

According to data from a local real estate tracking firm, foreclosures against Massachusetts homeowners rose for the eighth consecutive month in October. Since October 2013, initiated foreclosures have nearly doubled, according to data from the Warren Group.

Of course, a real estate attorney knows that a distinction must be made between initiated and completed foreclosures.  In fact, the data bears this out: Although initiated foreclosures in Massachusetts rose in the first ten months of 2014, the number of completed foreclosures actually fell by 6.7 percent during the same period.

Even if it may seem counterintuitive, a residential mortgage holder should remember that lenders ultimately want to protect their interest. There can be costs attendant to a foreclosure, so a lender may be open to a homeowner’s efforts to regain his or her good standing. With the help of a real estate attorney, several different types of options may be explored.

For example, an attorney can review a homeowner’s mortgage and finances to see whether refinancing or negotiation with lenders might be strategically pursued. To avoid the hassle and cost of foreclosure, lenders might agree to a loan modification, changing the terms of the mortgage to make it more manageable, usually in the form of lower monthly payments. There is also a federal mortgage refinancing program, although it has its own eligibility requirements and application procedure.

If you are in trouble with your home loan, don’t delay in reaching out to a real estate attorney who focuses on residential real estate and foreclosure law. An attorney can work to help you avoid the emotional upset, negative credit rating, and other repercussions of foreclosure.

Source: Boston Globe, “Foreclosure activity continues to rise in Mass.,” Jack Newsham, Dec. 2, 2014