USE Credit Union

Avoiding Foreclosure

Steps you can take today to avoid foreclosure

Sometimes the unexpected challenges of life can make the responsibility of homeownership a tough one. If you've lost your job, been through a divorce or suffered illness, you may be having a hard time making your mortgage payments. If so, there is help available.

Call your Mortgage Company:
In an effort to help you get your mortgage back on track, call USE Credit Union today to find a solution that's right for you. Don't risk losing your home or jeopardizing your credit when there's help available. Your options for retaining your home are most effective when you are only one or two payments behind.
Financial relief options include:

  • Forbearance: agreement to temporarily let you pay less than the full amount of your mortgage, for a period of time.
  • Reinstatement: occurs when you pay the total amount you are behind, in a lump sum, by a specific date.
  • Repayment Plan: agreement giving you a fixed time to repay the behind amount, combined with your regular payment.
  • Loan Modification: written agreement that changes one or more of the original terms of your mortgage.
  • Short payoff: If you sell your house but the sales proceeds are less than the total amount you owe on your mortgage, we may agree to a short payoff and write off all or some of the portion that exceeds the net proceeds from the sale.
  • Deed in Lieu of foreclosure: Under certain circumstances, you would voluntarily transfer ownership of your property to the lender in exchange for cancellation of your mortgage debt. In most cases you must attempt to sell your home for its fair market value for at least 90 days. You would be given a specific period of time to relocate. This option may be available to you if there are no other liens or judgments on your home.

USE Credit Union is very interested in discussing options that may help you avoid foreclosure. Please call us at your first opportunity at 800-233-0253.

Contact A Non-Profit Housing or Credit Counseling Agency:
The Homeownership Preservation Foundation is a national organization and the cost of counseling is paid for by Fannie Mae. Talk to an experienced counselor at (888) 995-HOPE or visit the Foundation website at

San Diego Home Loan Counseling & Education Center is local and celebrating 30 years of community service in San Diego. This service is typically easier to reach than the Hope organization and charges $25 for their services. Learn more at

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds free or very low cost housing counseling nationwide. The toll-free telephone number to find a HUD-certified housing counseling agency is (800) 569-4287 or TTY (800) 877-8339. See the Department of Housing and Urban Development at for a more complete list of Community Counseling Agencies.

Beware of predatory lenders:
Predatory lenders often target people in financial distress. They try to panic you into high cost mortgages, making financial problems worse and increasing your risk of losing your home.

Predatory lenders usually offer loans with:

  • Higher interest rates than the rates for which you may qualify
  • Excessive broker fees or Unnecessary costs like pre-paid life insurance
  • Terms that will make it very difficult or impossible for you to repay the loan

Here are some tips to protect you from predatory lenders:

  • Be suspicious of anyone who offers you "loans," whether they mail, fax or email an offer to you, call you on the phone, or come to your door.
  • Beware of promises of "No Credit? Bad Credit? No Problem!" and offers that are only "good for a very short time."
  • Avoid lenders who encourage you to borrow more than you need or more than the value of your home.
  • Beware of terms that change at the last minute or offer next-day approval based on pre-payments or upfront fees.
  • Do not sign anything you don't understand. It is your right and duty to ask questions.
  • Beware of disreputable credit counseling agencies charging high fees for financial counseling service you can get for little or no charge through non-profit agencies. You can find a list of HUD-approved agencies by visiting the HUD website at, and click on "foreclosure" (under Homes).

Remember: Anything that sounds too good to be true usually is. If you suspect a predatory mortgage company is targeting you, call your local office of consumer affairs, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, an approved credit counseling agency, or your local "Don't Borrow Trouble" campaign:

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