Financially troubled homeowners can save houses

Ohio.com / Akron Beacon Journal
Published October 11, 2007

Homeowners having trouble making the house payment have lots of company, and they have lots of ways to save their homes.

The best way is to call their mortgage companies as soon as a problem seems at hand.

''The bank would much rather work out a deal with the homeowner than an investor or another buyer,'' said Jeremy Brandt, who runs two homebuyer companies.

Lenders say they can lose as much as a third of a loan's value in a foreclosure. They lose much less money by reworking loans so homeowners can meet their payments.

Specifically, a lender can agree to delay payments or modify a loan to make payments manageable.

A lender also might simply be willing to take back a house without foreclosure, which does less damage to the owner's credit history.

''Homeowners don't realize the lender is not their enemy,'' said housing advocate Mike Clarke.