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Home Debt Management

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What Is Loss Mitigation and How Does It Work?

Sometimes, life brings unexpected surprises that make it difficult or impossible to keep up with your mortgage payments. If that happens, a lender can foreclose on your property. Foreclosures are rarely the desired outcome for borrowers or lenders; they usually end up being costly and inconvenient for everyone involved. That’s exactly why loss mitigation exists....

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Lien vs. Encumbrance: What’s the Difference?

Oddly enough, owning a home does not give you complete control over it. There may be a variety of limits or claims on your property rights, including liens and encumbrances. Liens and encumbrances are different – and understanding these differences will help shed light on the broader topic of titles and other legal matters around...

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Deficiency Judgment: What Is It and How Does It Work?

As a homeowner, you don’t plan on having to deal with foreclosure – and hopefully, you won’t ever have to. You can help prevent foreclosure by making your payments on time and communicating with your lender, but sometimes life hits unexpectedly hard, making it difficult or impossible to pay your mortgage.  A single late payment...

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What Are Underwater Mortgages?

When it comes to owning a home, some surprises aren’t as welcome as others. If you just found out that your outstanding mortgage balance is more than your home is worth, you have what’s known as an underwater mortgage, also known as an upside-down mortgage. If you have an upside-down mortgage, don’t panic. You have...

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What Is Buying Down an Interest Rate and Is It Right for You?

When comparing different mortgages, one of the most important variables you will need to consider is the interest rate. Over a 30-year mortgage, a single percentage point change in your interest rate could cost or save you thousands of dollars. Many people assume that whatever interest rate their lender offers them is an interest rate...

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What Does Being “House Poor” Mean and What To Do About It

Home equity in a primary residence is the largest source of wealth for families across the nation, according to the National Association of Home Builders. As a result, many people see homeownership as a sure path to building their nest egg – and in many cases, this can be true.  But the heart is not...

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Can You Pay Off Someone Else’s Mortgage?

Can your parents pay off your mortgage? Yes. Can you pay off your parents’ mortgage? Aww … and, yes.  In fact, you don’t have to be related to a homeowner to offer the gift of a mortgage payoff or a mortgage payment. You can make a payment on someone else’s mortgage to help them out...

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What Is a Mortgage Reinstatement?

Three things in life are certain: taxes, iPhone updates and unexpected expenses. Unexpected expenses can cost homeowners a lot – even their homes. If you’re struggling to make your mortgage payments because of a medical emergency, an accident or the upheaval we all experienced during the COVID-19 lockdowns, you’re not alone. In March 2021, over...

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Home Equity Loan vs. Cash-Out Refinance

Sure, your home’s main purpose is to give you and your family a place to live. And you might even use your home as a kind of real estate investment.  But if that’s all you think your home is good for, you’re missing out on some other ways to use your homeownership to your advantage,...

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What Is Mortgage Forbearance and Is It Right for Me?

Life happens, and sometimes you may experience financial challenges that might jeopardize your ability to pay bills – like your mortgage – on time and in full.  If you’re dealing with financial setbacks from a job loss or an emergency expense (or expenses!) and you’ve fallen behind on your monthly mortgage payments, you may find...

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Buying a Foreclosed Home: The What and How

After the mortgage crash of 2008, buying foreclosed homes has become a more common practice. Foreclosed homes can be just as easy to come across as any other listing on the multiple listing service (MLS). Buying a foreclosed home can be a savvy way to buy a property priced under market value. It can also...

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How To Refinance After Bankruptcy

If you’ve been through bankruptcy, you may feel more cautious than ever about taking out new loans – especially on your home. But if you’re careful and well informed, refinancing can help you save money and unlock the equity in your home at a low-interest rate. What Are the Reasons To Refinance After Bankruptcy?  There...

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Can You Refinance Your Mortgage With Bad Credit?

Refinancing your mortgage can be a great way to save money or get more favorable terms on your home loan.  This is especially true if interest rates are low and your home value has increased since you bought your home. But what if your credit score is standing in the way of refinancing? When you...

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