Though the Pennsylvania economy is seemingly showing signs of recovery, residential real estate foreclosures are still disturbingly common, with record numbers of home foreclosures throughout the United States and Pennsylvania. Besides being emotionally problematic, as losing one’s home is definitely difficult, foreclosure can negatively affect your credit score. You may even end up owing the bank more money, called a deficiency judgment, if your home is worth less than the amount you owe on your mortgage.

The first step to prevent the loss of your home to foreclosure is to acknowledge that you are behind in your mortgage loan payments and open any and all mail your mortgage lender sends you, as it may contain important legal documents. Ignoring the problem will only make things worse and can result in further legal action against you.

The next step is to make sure you do not give any money to a foreclosure recovery scam. These companies scheme to try to get you to sign over the title of your property to them, which can result in you being a renter in your own home. Signing any legal document with a third party, such as these scam companies, is dangerous and can have catastrophic consequences.

An important way to prevent losing your home to foreclosure may be to contact an experienced real estate attorney for professional advice about avoiding foreclosure. These attorneys can, among many other things, negotiate with your lender, help get rid of additional mortgages, ensure you were not the victim of predatory lending and helping you obtain financial assistance from the Pennsylvania Homeowners’ Mortgage Assistance Program.

Buying a home can be one of the most exciting times in a person’s life, and losing that home to foreclosure can be one of the worst. Home owners behind in mortgage payments would be wise to seek legal representation as foreclosure can often be prevented by a knowledgeable lawyer.

Source: FindLaw.com, “10 Tips to Avoid Foreclosures,” accessed on Oct. 29, 2014