There are few feelings so awful as being notified of a pending foreclosure. For many homeowners this is a final blow, and may come after working for months trying to get their loan modified. However, even when a foreclosure sale has been scheduled, there are often still actions that can be taken to save your home. If you have received a notice of foreclosure, it is very important to note the date it was received, and the manner in which it was received, as well. Were you served papers in person? Was the notice tacked to your door? Did it come in the mail? If there are multiple notices, keep records for all of them.

This is an important point, as the rules regarding service for foreclosure are very strict. If they are not complied with, it can open the door to putting the foreclosure on hold.

As more and more homeowners lose equity and face foreclosure, new solutions for homeowners are being developed by attorneys working on the forefront of consumer rights. In the past foreclosure could be stopped by filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and give the filer an opportunity to catch up on back payments that were missed. However, in this new climate of equity loss, often coupled with limited income levels, that traditional approach is not always the best way to handle the situation.

These days, through Chapter 13, we can halt the foreclosure process, to at least get some time to negotiate, and sometimes challenge the right of the foreclosing party to foreclose or collect from the homeowner, as well as the amount they can legally collect. Through various actions we may be able to finally obtain the willingness of the mortgage holder to provide a loan modification – to reduce the interest or the amount of payments owing on the loan.

Also, when the home’s value has dropped significantly, we can often completely strip second or junior mortgages, or other liens that may be on the property, greatly reducing the amount owed. And there are other actions that can be taken, both in and out of bankruptcy.

The most important point is: Do not wait until the last minute to see an attorney. Despite the fact that your mortgage servicer may string you along for months with the “promise” of a loan modification if you will submit all of your documents again for a third or a fourth time, they can still decide you are rejected for a loan modification, and go ahead and foreclose. To be able to head off servicer actions before it’s too late and get the best results, your attorney needs time to build your case.

It is important for you to know that foreclosure can be stopped, and you may be able to obtain a monthly payment that you can afford. There is still hope. Do not assume you have no options.