How to deal with and avoid foreclosure

Put mortgage payments at the top of your priority list of bills. If you can’t make a mortgage payment on time (or within the grace period of 10 to 15 days that is usually provided), explain your situation to your bank-or to
whomever your lender is. In most cases, you can reach a solution if you have a good track record of paying bills. If you repeatedly miss making your mortgage payments, you might lose your home as a result of a foreclosure. Foreclosure is the process that enables your bank to collect on your debt by selling your home (the collateral for the loan) if you fall behind in paying your mortgage.

Being delinquent in one monthly payment will not result in foreclosure unless your mortgage contains an acceleration clause. Under an acceleration clause, if you miss only a single payment, your bank has a right to demand full payment of the mortgage and to foreclose if you fail to pay it.

A strict foreclosure allows the bank to take your property, even if its value is greater than what you owe. Few states, however, permit it. Usually your property is sold at auction. The money pays the foreclosure expenses and mortgage debt. You receive any money left, but your lender can sue you for a deficiency judgment if you still owe more.
Foreclosure procedures vary from state to state. In many states you can even buyback (redeem) your property within a certain period after a foreclosure auction. Check with a lawyer.