For the past few months, you’ve been behind on the mortgage payments for your Hawaii home.
Maybe you’ve recently lost your job, are facing extensive medical bills for an unexpected illness, can’t afford to maintain the house, or perhaps you’ve experienced a sudden change in your marital status. You may have even inherited a home that you know you really can’t afford to keep.
No matter the cause of your financial struggles, you’re concerned that your home may go into foreclosure. Perhaps you’ve even already received your first foreclosure notice in the mail.
We understand that this is an emotionally stressful, and even embarrassing, time for you as a homeowner. You may feel like there’s no way out, or you may inadvertently make yourself more vulnerable to common foreclosure scams.
Consider this post your quick, catch-all guide to property foreclosure help in Hawaii.
Here, we’ll cover the potential consequences of foreclosure and steps you can take to avoid it. We’ll also fill you in on foreclosure scams to be aware of.
Finally, we’ll walk you through the best way to sell your Hawaii home in foreclosure.
The Consequences of Foreclosure
When you first started to look around at potential properties to buy in Hawaii, one of the first pieces of advice you likely got was to ensure that you could afford your mortgage payments every month.
But what happens if the foreclosure process begins because you can no longer make those payments?
In the state of Hawaii, uncontested nonjudicial foreclosure can mean that a lender can foreclose your home in just two or three months.
In addition to being evicted from your own home, there are countless other financial consequences to foreclosure:
Your credit score will take a serious hit. This means that you likely won’t be approved for another home loan, credit card, or other kinds of personal loans until you’ve been able to properly repair your credit. (In many cases, this can take several years.)
Even after the foreclosure sale is complete, you may still owe your lender a balance. You won’t be able to get a Fannie Mae mortgage to help you buy a home for a minimum of 7 years. Additionally, you could even lose relocation assistance.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to avoid the foreclosure process on your Hawaii home.
Let’s take a look at some of your options below.
What You Can Do Now to Avoid Foreclosure
If you’re facing the looming threat of foreclosure, know that there are still things you can do.
First of all, be honest with your lender. Many people make the mistake of ignoring the problem and failing to offer an explanation or work out a solution with their lender. But not letting your lender know you’re struggling is usually seen as a sign of financial irresponsibility.
Ask for your lender to offer you a loan modification. Point to your strong history of making your mortgage payments on time in the past. See if you can tack the missed month’s payment onto future payments or increase your loan term so you can pay the amount you can afford each month.
You may also be eligible for certain government assistance programs that are designed to help homeowners in trouble to avoid foreclosure.
Look into programs like HAMP, which could lower your monthly mortgage payments by as much as 40%. If your home’s value has drastically plummeted in the past few years, consider getting a Principal Reduction Alternative (PRA.) HARP, FHA2LP, and UP are also government options that may be able to help you.
Of course, you could also file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, which, though certainly extreme, does allow you to take a bit more time to get your finances in order and potentially save your home. You will follow a unique and customized payment plan that is consistent with your current income.
However, the best thing you can do to avoid foreclosure is usually to sell your home to a cash buyer in Hawaii. We’ll talk more about that later in this post.
Common Foreclosure Scams to Watch out For
While there is a lot of foreclosure help out there in Hawaii, unfortunately, there are also a lot of scams.
When you’re stressed out, not sleeping, and facing the possibility of losing your home and entering into financial ruin, you’re not exactly capable of making the best decision.
Predatory scammers and criminals know this and want to capitalize on it.
The golden rule here is “remember that advice is free.” If someone asks you to pay them so that they can speak to your lender for you, or if they claim they connect you with someone they work with (allegedly) who can magically negotiate you out of foreclosure — as long as you give them cash — it’s a scam.
Remember that you should under no circumstances make out your mortgage payment to anyone else other than your lender. If someone tries to tell you that they’ll make the payments for you “later” as long as you pay them now, consider contacting the authorities.
Also, be on the lookout for equity skimming, another common scamming tactic. These people say they’ll buy your home outright, and that they’ll pay off the mortgage for you.
You’ll be forced to sign the deed to your home over to them. They’ll collect rent, own your home, and never pay back your mortgage — but of course, you’ll still have to.
Sometimes, a scammer may try to convince you to sign paperwork without a third party title company present. This is usually because they’ve served you with paperwork that contains your financial information, or even makes them the owner of your home.
In addition to potentially signing away your home, the scammer may also be able to steal your identity.
Selling Your Hawaii Home in Foreclosure for Cash
We don’t tell you all of this information to scare you.
Instead, we just want you to be as aware of the options available to you as is possible.
Sometimes, the best thing to do is to work with a cash buyer to quickly sell your Hawaii home in foreclosure.
First of all, because the buyer will make you a fair cash offer on your home as-is; meaning that you don’t have to worry about making costly upgrades, staging your home, or doing any kind of maintenance on it.
Plus, especially if the foreclosure process has already begun, you likely don’t have much time. You need to sell your house in order to avoid foreclosure. You can’t risk listing it with a Realtor and letting it sit on the market for several months, because the bank will take your home from you and you’ll walk away with NOTHING.
In many cases, a cash buyer will be able to close on your house in as little as a couple of weeks.
You’ll also save on the extensive fees and commissions of a real estate agent when you work with a cash buyer. The cash buyer will also handle any of the closing costs for you.
Unlike those scammers, cash buyers will work with a third-party title company and walk you through all of your options. Plus, any offer on your home comes with absolutely no obligation to take it.
This is an excellent way to avoid the anxiety of selling your home on your own or working with a real estate agent — plus, you’ll be able to repair your financial reputation.
In Need of Expert Foreclosure Help in Hawaii?
We hope that this guide has made you feel like you have a much better handle on all of your options for foreclosure help in Hawaii.
Make sure to talk to your lender, know the common foreclosure scams to watch out for, and consider getting an offer on your home from a cash buyer.
Are you looking to sell your Oahu, Hawaii home as quickly as possible?
Our incredible team at Crowne Properties is here to help you.
We will make a fair cash offer on your home as it is now, and we’ll use current market data and a tour of your home to determine our price. We have an “A” rating from the Better Business Bureau, and a five-star rating on Google. We’re even members of Hawaii’s Chamber of Commerce.
Above all, our process is fast and simple.
All you need to do is fill out the quick form on our website to start the process.
We want to work with you to find a solution that benefits everyone during this stressful time in your life. Together, we can make it happen.