Many in Ohio believe that homeownership is the American dream. In fact, some may postpone other important life events, such as getting married or having children, until they have purchased a home. However, owning a home comes with heavy responsibilities, not the least of which is paying mortgage payments on time. Failing to do so can lead to the devastation of foreclosure.
The mortgage payments is typically the largest bill one has to pay each month, sometimes taking as much as a third of one's income. Once a homeowner falls behind, it can be difficult if not impossible to catch up. After 90 days delinquency, the lender may send the homeowner letters to warn of its intention to begin the foreclosure process, meaning the lender will repossess the home. Foreclosure will not come all at once and can take many months, giving the homeowner time to take steps to save the home.
The best time to begin working to prevent foreclosure is the minute one realizes he or she cannot make the mortgage payment. Within those first 90 days of delinquency, there are several options the owner can pursue. If negotiations with the lender fail and there is no foreseeable way to resolve the delinquency, the house will fall into pre-foreclosure. The lender will notify the owner of the default, and the owner has three months to resolve the problem before the bank places the house on the auction block.
One option for resolution is to meet with an Ohio attorney and file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which will immediately stop all foreclosure proceedings. Chapter 13 allows homeowners to work out a payment plan to cover their debts, including the mortgage payments. Sticking to the payment plan improves the borrower's chances of getting out of debt and maintaining the dream of owning a home.