As we all know, life doesn’t always work out the way we plan. Financial hardship can happen to anyone.
Homeowners might face foreclosure after missing a few months of mortgage payments, and they should know how to stop foreclosure at the last minute in Wisconsin. Negotiating a loan modification with your lender is a little more complicated.
We will review foreclosure proceedings and last-minute strategies to avoid them.
Wisconsin Foreclosure Laws
In Wisconsin, there is a preforeclosure period. There are missed payments, but the foreclosure has not officially begun. During this time, your lender can charge additional fees, and they can charge late fees or fees for inspections.
Lenders will send a notice called a “breach letter” explaining ways the homeowner can avoid foreclosure.
State law requires that a mortgage lender contact the borrower by phone within 36 days of missing a payment. The lender will explain your loss mitigation options. You can choose loan modification, forbearance, or a repayment plan.
Within 45 days of the missed payment, the lender must send a notice of default and explain how you can avoid foreclosure. They will work with you so they can avoid foreclosing.
Federal law requires that a mortgage company work with the homeowner while completing a loss mitigation application. This form details your income, expenses, people living in the home, and the financial hardship you are experiencing.
Dual tracking is not allowed when a homeowner completes a loss mitigation application; this happens when the mortgage lender pursues foreclosure while working through the loss mitigation options.
In Wisconsin, the foreclosure process cannot begin until a homeowner is more than 120 days late on their monthly payment. This allows enough time for the homeowner to work with their lender to avoid foreclosure.
Foreclosure Process in Wisconsin
You will face a judicial foreclosure when you cannot meet your mortgage payments in Wisconsin. A judicial foreclosure is when your lender files a lawsuit asking for a court order which allows a foreclosure sale.
The court will notify the property owner about the case. Typically, the homeowner will have twenty days to file an answer, and they might also receive a notice of mediation.
Nonjudicial foreclosure is not allowed in Wisconsin, and all lenders must follow the judicial foreclosure process.
Foreclosure mediation is another option to avoid foreclosure. State mediation requirements allow a homeowner, their lender, and a neutral third party to discuss the financial situation and reach a fair agreement.
If you ignore the summons, you will likely face foreclosure. You must present your case in court if you decide to defend the lawsuit. If you lose in court, the judge will order that your home be sold at a foreclosure auction.
The sale of your home must be advertised in a newspaper once a week for three weeks. The notice of sale must also be displayed in a public place or county website at least three weeks before the foreclosure sale.
Can You Avoid Foreclosure in Wisconsin?
There are 120 days from when you miss a payment until your lender can legally begin foreclosure proceedings.
Your first course of action is to meet with your lender and see if you can refinance your mortgage. Interest rates may be a negotiating tool, and you may find yourself paying higher rates than your original mortgage.
When you cannot refinance, seek legal advice and determine the best course of action. Consulting with a real estate agent will approximate a fair cash offer for your home. You may sell your home in a short sale if it avoids foreclosure. There are real estate companies that provide this service to homeowners facing foreclosure.
A perk to selling your house to one of these real estate companies is that you don’t have the stress of preparing a house for sale. They buy the home as-is.
To avoid a stressful foreclosure experience, you can hand over your deed instead of facing foreclosure. You give the lender the deed to your property and are no longer responsible for the mortgage payments. A deed in lieu of foreclosure is often preferred because it only affects your credit score for four years, while a foreclosure affects it for seven.
How To Stop Foreclosure in Wisconsin at the Last Minute
You have found no success with negotiations, and you find yourself with a foreclosure looming. There are still a few things that you can do. You can file for bankruptcy, modify your home loan, get a deed in lieu of foreclosure, and sell your home quickly.
Filing for Bankruptcy
Most people want to avoid bankruptcy, but unfortunately, sometimes, it is the only option. When considering bankruptcy, you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney.
Filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Wisconsin allows homeowners to keep their houses. They must agree to a repayment plan. They must make payments from their disposable income, so their money is tied up for the duration of the payment plan. An automatic stay will protect your property and assets as long as you make your payments.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is another option for people struggling with debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcy will not stop foreclosure or debt collections. You will not have to repay qualifying debts such as credit card debt or personal loans.
Getting a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure
This procedure refers to avoiding foreclosure by transferring a deed to a lender to pay a loan that you cannot pay in any other way. You defaulted on the loan and this transfer is your way of trying to fulfill payment obligations.
When the lender accepts the deed, you can avoid foreclosure at the last minute.
Modifying Your Home Loan
Most lenders would rather work with their borrowers so they can avoid foreclosure. Realistically, banks do not want the headache of selling a house, and they would work out a plan so the homeowners could stay and sort out their financial woes.
The number of your mortgage payments and the loan period can be changed to fit your financial situation. You may have to pay for a more extended period than what was on the original promissory note.
Modifications could be as simple as changing from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate. There may have been changes in the interest rate since you signed the original mortgage agreement, and you may be able to renegotiate better terms for a lower monthly payment.
The lender may give you time to sort out financial difficulties by suspending your mortgage payments for a few months. Only some lenders agree, but it never hurts to ask. The lender will add the missed payments to the end of your mortgage term.
Some mortgage payments include property taxes, and some lenders could suspend this part of the payment for several months. There are several options that you and your lender can discuss. The goal is to achieve financial stability rather than losing your home to foreclosure.
Selling Your House ASAP
You can find cash home buyers in Wisconsin for your house to avoid foreclosure. You have two options.
You can have a “short sale,” meaning you look for people whose motto is we buy houses. Oshkosh is a good place to list the house for less than what you owe on the mortgage. This is usually the last resort because you will still owe money. Short sales can become complicated because the lender must approve them. Approval must come in 120 days before the official foreclosure.
Your next choice is to sell a house fast in Appleton to a real estate investor. If you have equity in your home, a sale to a realty company could net you enough money to pay off your mortgage with a bit of money left over.
These transactions are attractive if you’re looking to sell a house without a realtor because the sale is as-is, and the sellers are not required to make any repairs or prepare the house for sale.
Real estate investors have the capital to hand over cash in a short amount of time. They will complete a home assessment and have a cash offer in your hands in hours. The closing can be done quickly as well.
Companies Who Buy Houses Fast in Wisconsin
You may be forced to look at the costs to sell a house quickly when you find yourself in a financial mess. There are Wisconsin real estate investors that specialize in this house sales. They can provide an all-cash offer, and closings are usually done in less than a week.
These real estate companies buy low, invest in repairs, and then flip the house for a healthy profit. Homeowners should consider that the offer will not be comparable to a traditional sale.
Although, if you want to sell your house fast, these companies are the way to go.
The more information you have, the better you will be able to handle a looming foreclosure. There are options for avoiding foreclosure altogether if you can salvage your finances during the preforeclosure period.
When foreclosure is inevitable, you can sometimes salvage your house by claiming bankruptcy. This will affect your credit score, but you will not have to leave home.
When all else fails, you might have to sell your home to regain control of your finances. Selling to a real estate investor will give you the freedom to pay off your mortgage and start a fresh financial portfolio.