What You Can Do to Have a Better Negotiating Posture
- Keep in touch. Immediately reply to any calls or letters from the lender, no matter when they come. Never let calls go unanswered.
- Try to get out from under the mortgage by selling the property.
- Clearly show the lender that your financial condition is such that you have no way to make the payments. This could mean being willing to send the lender, at any moment, bank statements, unemployment records, or anything else demanded. You can’t be too finicky about keeping your finances private when you’re faced with foreclosure as a real possibility.
- Make suggestions to the lender about how you would like the matter handled. If you think you could get back on your feet if you had a vacation from payments, present that as an offer. Just be sure that you have a good reason why you’d be in better financial condition later and know exactly how long it will take. If you realize that you can’t get out, consider a “deed in lieu of foreclosure.”
- When the time is right, don’t hesitate to leverage your position by threatening to walk away from the problem. What’s important is to present yourself as doing everything possible to get out of the mortgage problem you’re in. It’s not that lenders are sympathetic to your position, although those in the lender’s employment may surely be. It’s that you have to make the lender see that you have no other alternatives and that what you’re proposing to the lender is better for it than foreclosure.
Don’t try the sympathy approach. Mortgage lenders don’t cry, and they really don’t care about you. What they want are performing loans. Barring that, they want the cheapest, surest financial method of solving the problem you are presenting. Offer them a viable solution and chances are they’ll take it.
If you try negotiating your way out of foreclosure and make a dedicated effort, you could be pleasantly surprised at the results.