How Can I Avoid a Foreclosure?



Foreclosure filings spiked upward another 7 percent in March of this year; one expert believes there are alternatives that consumers can use to avoid becoming part of next month's statistic.

During March, the amount of foreclosure filings totaled 239,745, according to statistics released from RealtyTrac. This is up from February, when filings totaled 225,101. Granted, the rate of increase is slower than it was this time last year, but financial expert Deborah McNaughton, author of The Essential Credit Repair Handbook from Career Press, said that the decrease wasn't attributable to better market conditions.

"The slowdown is because there are so many foreclosures to file, it's taking lenders longer to process foreclosure proceedings," McNaughton says. "The allegations of fraud in some of these foreclosure proceedings started last September, and as a result, there was a temporary suspension of foreclosures while the fraud was investigated. There are people out there who are still in trouble, but there are ways they can avoid a foreclosure, if they're willing to do the work."

McNaughton's alternatives include:

"A lot more people are facing foreclosure than the statistics currently reflect," McNaughton notes. "As a result, everyone should be aware of the alternatives. Foreclosure can sometimes be a worst-case scenario for some, but that can be avoided simply by choosing to accept something that isn't a best-case scenario, but it's better than losing your place to live with no alternatives at all."

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