Being in serious debt can cause a world of stress and anxiety for you and your family. The constant phone harassment from collectors, the threatening letters and the resulting loss of sleep can set you on edge and make it difficult to focus on work and family responsibilities, much less the recreation and fun you need to stay healthy.
One of the worst, most pervasive financial fears is the fear of losing your house to foreclosure. If you have tons of unsecured debt (like debt from credit cards, medical bills and personal loans) and you are worried about losing your home, it is critical to tackle the most important things first. What considerations are the most important?
Are you actually in danger of foreclosure?
This is an important question. Lots of people, including phone representatives from mortgage servicers, throw around the word foreclosure without properly explaining (or even understanding) what foreclosure is and how it works in the state of Tennessee. Being afraid of losing your house does not mean you are in danger of having your mortgage lender take your home.
Foreclosure is a long process, not an event that suddenly occurs. Even if you owe one or two back mortgage payments, you probably have plenty of time to straighten things out.
What debts should you concentrate on?
Your debt situation is unique, and you should get legal and financial advice if you need it. Generally speaking, your home is much more important than things like your credit card bills or your medical debts. (Will your credit card company or hospital corporation allow you to live in their lobby if you pay them but fail to pay your mortgage? Probably not.)
Many consumers are mired in unsecured debt because of a problem like a temporary income loss, a divorce or a health crisis. For some of them who qualify for bankruptcy, a Chapter 7 filing can discharge those debts and make it much easier to pay the mortgage and cover other essential living expenses.
Choosing your battles and focusing on the right things can help you stabilize your financial circumstances and keep your home. The advice of a knowledgeable attorney can be extremely valuable to that end.