1. Don't ignore the problem.
  2. The further behind you become, the harder it will be to reinstate your loan and the more likely that you will lose your house.


  3. Contact your lender as soon as you realize that you have a problem.
  4. Lenders do not want your house. They have options to help borrowers through difficult financial times.
    For help contacting your lender, click here.


  5. Open and respond to all mail from your lender.
  6. The first notices you receive will offer good information about foreclosure prevention options that can help you weather financial problems. Later mail may include important notice of pending legal action. Your failure to open the mail will not be an excuse in foreclosure court.


  7. Know your mortgage rights.
  8. Find your loan documents and read them so you know what your lender may do if you can't make your payments. Learn about the foreclosure laws and timeframes in your state.
    For foreclosure Q&A, click here.
    For foreclosure timeline, click here.


  9. Contact an approved housing counselor.
  10. Housing counselors can help you understand the law and your options, organize your finances and represent you in negotiations with your lender.
    For a list of housing counseling agencies in Delaware, click here.


  11. Prioritize your spending.
  12. After healthcare, keeping your house should be your first priority. Review your finances and see where you can cut spending in order to make your mortgage payment. Look for optional expenses-cable TV, memberships, entertainment-that you can eliminate.


  13. Use your assets.
  14. Do you have assets-a second car, jewelry, a whole life insurance policy-that you can sell for cash to help reinstate your loan? Can anyone in your household get an extra job to bring in additional income? Even if these efforts don't significantly increase your available cash or your income, they demonstrate to your lender that you are willing to make sacrifices to keep your home.


  15. Avoid foreclosure prevention companies.
  16. You don't need to pay fees for foreclosure prevention help. Use that money to pay the mortgage instead. Many for-profit companies will contact you promising to negotiate with your lender. These businesses, while legitimate, will charge you a hefty fee. This fee is often two or three month's mortgage payment. Your lender or an approved housing counselor can often provide the same information and services for free, if you contact them.
    For a list of housing counseling agencies in Delaware, click here.


  17. Don't lose your house to foreclosure recovery scams!
  18. If any firm claims they can stop your foreclosure immediately if you sign a document appointing them to act on your behalf, you may well be signing over the title to your property and becoming a renter in your own home! Never sign a legal document without reading and understanding all the terms and getting professional advice from an attorney, a trusted real estate professional, or an approved housing counselor.