More than 3.8 million homes will be lost in 2009 and 2010 because borrowers can't make their mortgage payments, according to forecasts from Moody's Economy.com.
Many of these lost homes will undoubtedly be in Ohio, where the number of foreclosures during the first quarter of 2009 rose even further than 2008's record rates. During the first quarter of 2009, nearly 11,000 notices of foreclosure sale were filed by lenders. As has been widely reported, Ohio ranks among the ten worst states for its volume of foreclosures.
The most important question for many homeowners is quite simple: is there hope? In actuality, many homeowners who have lost their homes would have qualified for short sales or mortgage modifications, which give homeowners the opportunity to end their nightmare of foreclosure. Thus, stopping foreclosure is an option that is available to many homeowners.
Unfortunately, surveys consistently show that many homeowners are unaware of the opportunities that are available to them. Many homeowners mistakenly assume that banks are unwilling to cooperate with them. Others are under the misconception that they would need to spend thousands of dollars on legal fees to take action, unaware that simple mortgage foreclosure defense forms can be obtained.
In actuality, most Ohio homeowners could significantly delay -- and in many instances stop -- foreclosure sales by filing answers to their lenders' foreclosure complaints. The answer forms are available for download at minimal cost. They are surprisingly easy to fill out and file with the Court. Ohio courts have implemented a variety of procedures to stem the tide of foreclosures, including mediation programs. However, homeowners who do not file answers to foreclosure complaints are unable to take advantage of such programs.
In addition, many Ohio homeowners would qualify for loan modifications that would enable them to simply add their missed monthly payments to the back end of their loans and reducing interest rates. Mortgage modification request forms are also more affordable and easier to obtain than most people realize.
Even those Ohioans facing the worst situations might be able to arrange for a short sale - in which the lender agrees to the sale of property for less than the amount owed on the loan.
The reality is that a variety of legal forms and foreclosure defense forms can be used to defend against court actions to foreclose.