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Foreclosures are at an All Time High: Is Refinancing the Right Answer?

by Gabriel  Traverso
Mortgage Directory Columnist

Many homeowners are now facing foreclosure. Are you in the same boat? With home appreciation slowing down or even dropping and home loan payments going up, it's no wonder so many are having trouble making their mortgage payments.

When Mortgage Foreclosure Looms

The percentage of homes in foreclosure is up to 1.28%, up from 0.98% last quarter. If you are worried that you might also be facing the same fate, you might be wondering whether refinancing is the right answer.

Make Your First Move Fast

The absolute first thing you should do if you're worried about making your monthly mortgage payments is call your lender. Don't be embarrassed and don't put it off until the last minute. The sooner you call your mortgage lender, the more likely they are to be able to help. Some lenders have been able to offer options such as rolling missed payments back into the loan or even offering special refinancing to help lower payments. The bottom line is that your mortgage lender loses money if they have to foreclose on your home. It's a costly process for them and devastating for you--make the call now.

When Refinancing is Right

If mortgage interest rates are lower now than when you got your home loan, it's probably a good idea to refinance--especially if you have an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) and your interest rates are on the rise. Make sure to check your credit report for any errors before you apply. You can also use a mortgage calculator to check payments for different loan types or interest rates. If your credit is good, refinancing could be the best way to solve your problem.

Know Your Market

It's always a good idea to look into home prices in your area. Knowing your real estate market and whether home prices are going up or down in your neighborhood can also help you take advantage of future refinancing options.

The Wall Street Journal

About the Author
Gabriel Traverso is a freelance writer, independent musician, and artist. He resides in Reno, NV.

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