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Help for Homeowners
IMPORTANT: If you are facing foreclosure or are having difficulty making your house payments, you should contact a certified housing counselor before you spend any money or follow any advice from someone offering to help you save your home. This counseling assistance is available free of charge through a local housing counseling agency registered with the Minnesota Home Ownership Center. Finding a certified housing counselor is easy: go to www.hocmn.org and click the link for “Foreclosure Prevention.” Then look for the link “Find a Foreclosure Counselor.” Enter your zip code to find a housing counselor near you.
Why Should I Work with a Home Ownership Counselor?
Whether you are behind on your mortgage payments, afraid that you may fall behind soon, or are applying or thinking of applying for a mortgage loan modification,the Home Ownership Center (HOC) has a statewide network of housing counselors who can offer information and advice on how to preserve your home and avoid foreclosure. The housing counselors work for non-profit agencies that specialize in foreclosure counseling and there is no charge for their advice or assistance. These counselors offer free, nonbiased confidential services. They will:
To find out more about the availability of housing counseling assistance to you, go to the Minnesota Home Ownership assistance page: www.hocmn.org.
Common Misconceptions About Foreclosure
False: A foreclosure can be stopped voluntarily by the lender at any time before the foreclosure sale. It can also be stopped by filing a notice of postponement of sale, by applying for a loan modification, and by filing a bankruptcy. Contact a housing counselor for more information.
False: Minnesota law provides the homeowner with a six month redemption period following the sale, during which the homeowner may continue to occupy the property without having to pay the mortgage, property taxes, or house insurance. The homeowner may also sell the home during the six month term, either by paying the amount bid at the foreclosure sale or by negotiating a lesser amount with the lender.
False: Until the foreclosure sale, the lender can require payment of all mortgage arrears, including statutory foreclosure costs, in full. The lender does not have to accept an offer of partial payment.
False: The homeowner’s employment status or housing alternatives are irrelevant. The only thing that matters is if a homeowner has a loan modification application pending, has offered payment of all mortgage arrears and foreclosure costs in full, has filed a notice of postponement of foreclosure sale, or has filed a bankruptcy case.
False: A homeowner can sell or refinance the home at any time before the expiration of the redemption term, by offering to pay the mortgage loan balance, or the redemption amount bid at the sale, or by negotiating a short sale.
False: Deeding the home to another person, i.e., an investor, does not stop the foreclosure process. It simply transfers the right to cure a mortgage default, or to redeem, to someone else.
False: Foreclosure under Minnesota law only eliminates the debt owed the foreclosing mortgage lender. The homeowner still owes the second and third mortgage loans.
Minnesota Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Association | 424 W Superior St | Duluth, MN 55802