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What's the Law?: Calling lender might avert foreclosure


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POSTED: Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Question: I just got a letter from my bank telling me that they are planning to foreclose on my home. What do I do?

  Answer: In Hawaii there are two ways a bank or lender can foreclose on a home: judicial foreclosure or nonjudicial foreclosure. Judicial foreclosure occurs through the courts. A person in the judicial foreclosure process usually is served with court papers. The court process can take months and culminates with an auction of the home. If the owner owes money after the home is sold, the lender can go after the owner for the difference.

Nonjudicial foreclosure is a faster process. It does not involve the courts. The lender advertises the home for three weeks and posts a notice on the home. A person in the nonjudicial foreclosure process usually receives a notice from the lender. If the owner owes money after the home is sold, the lender can go after the owner for the difference. However, frequently in this process, the lender does not go after the owner for the outstanding amount.

  If you have received a foreclosure letter, call your lender to discuss possible other options. The lender might be willing to set up a payment plan, modify the loan or suspend your payments for a time. If the lender does not know that you want to save your home, it may proceed with foreclosure.

Don't be afraid to contact the lender. Communication is key.