You thought losing your job was the worst that could happen– until you got too far behind on your mortgage. Now you’re at risk of losing your house, and you don’t know where to turn.

Over 33,000 foreclosure cases were filed in Ohio last year. Things can seem hopeless when you’re one of the thousands facing the possibility of losing your home. But before you lose that hope, know that you may have some options to consider before the hammer comes down. Following a few simple steps can make a big difference when trying to come back from the brink.

The steps to your house

Take a deep breath, and get started looking at what it might take to keep that roof over your head:

  • Contact the lender: Your lender may have more to lose than gain if they seek foreclosure. See if they’re willing to give you a little leeway so you can get back on track. You might be surprised by the options that are available to you through your lender if you just suffered a setback like temporary unemployment.
  • Consider bankruptcy: Bankruptcy isn’t usually the end-all option that many people assume. You may be able to keep your house with a Chapter 13 filing and work out a plan for repayment. You’ll likely get an automatic stay to hold off foreclosure, and you can submit a payback plan to your lender during that freeze. You may also be able to discharge qualifying additional mortgages you’ve taken out.
  • Seek guidance: Losing your home to foreclosure can be a terrifying prospect, so it’s often best to have someone with experience help you. From negotiating with the lender to assisting you through the bankruptcy process, seasoned counsel could help you reach a better outcome.

Navigating foreclosure can be stressful, but you may still be able to come out ahead. Even when things seem dire, look carefully at all the options around you to make the best decision to start moving forward.