Get help when facing foreclosure

HOUSTON Waiting too late is a big problem when asking for foreclosure help. In fact, many experts say they only hear from homeowners days before the home is auctioned off, and that is way too late. The amount of foreclosures in our area has slowed down over the last few months, but realtors expect that to change.

"The fourth quarter of this year, the first part of next year, you are probably going to see an uptick because there are a lot of people working through the process and there are some people who are not going to be modified," said realtor Kevin Riles.

He lists foreclosed properties and he says there is help available for homeowners facing trouble, but often some of them never reach out for assistance.

"I hate to go out to a property that we are about to list and the folks never talked to anyone, they never let anyone know. They were ashamed," said Riles.

Foreclosure experts say homeowners should contact a HUD-certified counselor the moment they realize the mortgage may not get paid.

"When you get that first letter in the mail saying you are in trouble with your mortgage company, you probably should pick up the phone and contact a housing counseling agency," said Sheila Frye of the NID Housing Counseling Agency.

Frye is a certified housing counselor who provides free help to those facing foreclosure. She will be among the seven agencies holding a foreclosure prevention workshop on Saturday. Frye says it's taken time for lenders to set up foreclosure help programs, but says mortgage companies are getting better at offering assistance to those in trouble.

"We have found most of the lenders have been pretty workable. It's has taken awhile because the system is changing. Every five minutes we get news rules, regulations, etc, but they are coming around," said Frye.

Again, the HUD-certified counselors offer free help to those facing mortgage trouble. We're told that now is the time to look into getting this help if you have a mortgage that is going to have the interest reset at the first of the year.

The foreclosure workshop is at the Brentwood Baptist Church this Saturday from 9am to 3pm.

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