This was originally posted by Ralph Roberts but we thought it was such great information, we just had to share it. 

If you or someone you know is currently facing foreclosure, you have options, including:

1.    You are not alone. Foreclosure knows no geographic, racial, ethnic, or socio-economic boundaries. We have seen real estate agents, attorneys, and others face foreclosure. Michael Jackson recently filed for bankruptcy. Foreclosure is much more prevalent than you think.

2.    Most people facing foreclosure have at least a dozen options. (Many people falsely believe that they have only two options – pay up or move out.) You can reinstate the loan, refinance (consolidate debt), list the home for sale with an agent, sell to an investor (if you have insufficient time to list the property), offer a deed in lieu of foreclosure, declare bankruptcy, negotiate forbearance or a mortgage modification, to name several of the most common options.

3.    Banks and other lending institutions do not want to foreclose. They make more money if you can make your payments. When they foreclose, they not only lose your monthly payments, but they also have the expense of foreclosing, rehabbing the home, and then selling it. In today’s market, there’s a good chance they’ll have to sell the home at a loss. This is all good news for you – it means the bank is highly motivated to make a deal with you.

4.    Given the current mortgage crisis and resulting foreclosure epidemic, the federal government, your state government, and consumer protection advocacy groups have put more pressure on mortgage lenders and provided them with additional resources to help homeowners in distress. In a way, people facing foreclosure now may be in a much better position to avoid it than they would have been, say five years ago.

5.    If you own the home with your spouse or life partner, tell them immediately. Far too many people try to keep their partner in the dark. Eventually, the person will find out. It’s always better if they find out from you earlier rather than from someone else when they have little or no time to do anything about it. Couples that work as a team almost always see much better results.

6.    Call your lender – the sooner, the better. As soon as you stop making payments, the foreclosure clock starts ticking. The earlier you know your options, the more time you have to pursue those options.