If you have received a letter threatening foreclosure on your home, you may be tempted to break down and feel hopeless. This hopeless feeling can be normal, primarily because most people have never been educated on what their legal rights are as being a homeowner facing foreclosure. Here’s what you can do.

Take a Deep Breath

First things first: take a deep breath and do your best to relax. Being threatened with a foreclosure can be scary, but it’s important to remember, you aren’t alone. Around the country, approximately 250,000 new families enter into foreclosure every three months. Many of these families are fighting the foreclosure and winning. The best thing you can do is remain as calm and collected as possible.

Staying calm will help you look at your options more clearly. After all, you usually have way more options than the bank wants you to think.

Get Legal Help

Here’s the thing: all big banks have attorneys and lawyers on staff to throw complicated legal jargon at you and make you feel so confused that you just give up and allow the bank to foreclose. This technique is obviously very effective because legalese has become so convoluted. Rather than try to swim through this muck on your own, get some legal counsel.

Many firms in the Houston area are willing to do a free consultation to help you understand your rights and your options as a homeowner. Get a lawyer in your corner by looking for foreclosure and eviction defense attorneys in the Houston area.

Call the Lender or Bank and Ask for Forbearance

After receiving notice of delinquency from your lender/bank a good next step would be to call the bank and ask for a forbearance. Forbearance is a special agreement between you and the lender to delay the foreclosure on a home and is part of your homeowner options in Houston. Typically, banks and lenders do not want to foreclose on a home because they end up losing money during the process. If you can show that there is a way for you reasonably, to pay the mortgage within the next several months, many institutions are willing to delay a foreclosure. Use this time to look for extra work, put in for overtime at your current job, or look for a new job, especially if you have been laid off.

What About Cash for Keys Programs?

If fighting a legal battle isn’t something you want to do just yet, another option is to look into the Cash for Keys program. Cash for Keys is a program that helps both banks and homeowners being foreclosed and evicted. You’re essentially selling back your home to the bank, lender, or HOA, in exchange for money and release from your mortgage obligation.

Here is how it works: as a homeowner, you can approach your lender and agree upon a mutual date when you will vacate the home. As a way to help you relocate to a new home and cover the cost of moving, the bank or lending institution will give you an agreed upon amount of cash, contingent upon you moving out on that date. Hence, cash for keys. Of course, hiring a lawyer to negotiate cash for keys will ensure that you’re not taken advantage of in this process.

Going through a foreclosure can be a difficult and life-altering experience. If you are unable to put up a legal fight against your lender, ask them to give you a Cash for Keys option. At Facing Foreclosure Texas, we strive to make sure you understand all of your options as a homeowner. Whether you work things out with the bank, call for legal help, or use the Cash for Keys program in Houston, we can help put you on the path toward stability.