When the sign goes up

Foreclosure auctions in Connecticut are actually not that common- typically, a homeowner needs to have equity in the home for an auction to be scheduled. Or if there’s an IRS or other federal government lien on the house, you get an auction. But that’s it—not everyone gets an auction. I receive a lot of calls from homeowners behind on their mortgages, and what’s their primary concern?

“I don’t want a sign going up on my lawn announcing a foreclosure auction.”

The embarrassment of their kids, neighbors, family members, even the family dog, knowing they are having money problems is the worst. Never mind actually getting foreclosed on- it’s the sign they think is the worst thing possible.

When the sign goes up it means a lot of things—primarily that the mortgage hasn’t been paid and your bank hasn’t worked with you to get you back on track. But to me it says YOU HAVE TIME. That’s right—there’s still some time. We can work on a (or another) mortgage modification—most homeowners who have tried to navigate the foreclosure process on their own and failed find success when my office gets involved and helps submit the application. You can put your own house on the market—you may not want to sell, but it can buy you time. There are other things you can do- I can usually come up with a few more ideas once I speak to a homeowner in foreclosure.

I got a call today from a client’s son because the sign went up and he didn’t understand that the house is in foreclosure- and he lives there. We talked, he understands his mother’s options, and we discussed options HE has for helping out. He now has a plan.

What the sign doesn’t mean is that you are a failure. It’s a sign- a sign that your life has changed but not necessarily for the worse; a sign that the court cares enough to make sure you have official notice of what is going on and when. Mostly it’s a sign it’s time to get help.

As always, I’m here to be a resource for anyone suffering through a foreclosure/credit card action. – SP