Monday, April 11, 2011

Help With Foreclosure Postponement

New online tool can help homeowners with foreclosure postponement

Minnesota is one of the only states in the country where struggling homeowners have the ability to legally postpone their foreclosure sale (Sheriff's Sale).  Minnesota state law has allowed homeowners the right to delay their foreclosure sale on their home by five months (11 months in certain rural/agricultural areas) since mid-2009. 

However, knowing the steps to take and how to fill out the legal documents necessary to postpone the sale has been an obstacle for many Minnesota homeowners.  That changes today with the announcement that the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition, Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services and the Minnesota Home Ownership Center have partnered on the creation of a free online tool that assists homeowners with the process.

How does it work?
The Foreclosure Postponement Tool, here, asks homeowners a series of simple questions, then automatically fills out the legal form they need, known as the "Foreclosure Sale Postponement Affidavit." Along with their finished form, users also receive a set of simple, yet detailed instructions on how to file the form properly. Once the form has been filed and the proper parties have been notified, the postponement takes effect.  If you choose not to set up a username, the system will NOT save any personally identifying information... so you can be assured of confidentiality.

Should I postpone?
Before deciding to delay or postpone a Foreclosure Sale, homeowners should consult with a non-profit housing counselor that specializes in foreclosure prevention to understand the pros and cons of a postponement.  To find your local foreclosure counselor, click here.

Make the Most of the Extra Time
After you've submitted the necessary documentation, and your sale has been postponed, what happens next?

Homeowners should start by finding a free, non-profit foreclosure counselor - while always staying wary of scams. Some web sites offer to "save your home" by charging premium prices for services that are available for free.  To mitigate this problem, the Foreclosure Postponement Tool encourages users to contact the Minnesota Home Ownership Center. The Center offers referrals to reputable non-profit counselors via the Homeownership Advisors Network.

Try it out!

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