Foreclosure Help

The first step in a homeowner addressing any mortgage payment issues is to contact your lender and request a meeting. At the meeting, you as the homeowner will discuss your financial hardship, disclosing your current income, debt obligations, and asset situation. As a homeowner uncertain about being able to afford your mortgage, you are encouraged to contact your lender right away. Homeowners seeking guidance and foreclosure counseling can review the resources on this page, as well as contact FISC Homeownership and Foreclosure Specialists at 920.886.1000 or visit www.fisc-cccs.org/
Avoiding Foreclosure
US Department of Housing & Urban Development Foreclosure Guidance

The federal govenment has implemented a number of programs to assist homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure and otherwise struggling with their monthly mortgage payments. The majority of these programs are administered through the U.S. Treasury Department and HUD. This page provides a summary of these various programs. Visit HUD Avoiding Foreclosure.

HARP Mortgage Refinance Program

When you have little equity in your home, or owe as much or more on your mortgage than your home is worth, it can be difficult to find a lender willing to help you refinance. But for borrowers who have remained current on their mortgages, and have loans owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, there is hope. It’s called HARP. Visit http://www.harp.gov/.

Making Home Affordable mortgage payment reduction program

The Making Home Affordable (MHA) Program is a critical part of the Administration's broad strategy to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and stabilize the nation's housing market. Eligible homeowners can lower their monthly mortgage payments and get into more stable loans at today's low interest rates. And for those homeowners for whom ownership is no longer affordable or desirable, the program can provide a way out that avoids foreclosure. There are also options for unemployed homeowners and homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth. Visit https://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov.

Federal Reserve Guide to Refinancing

Have interest rates fallen? Or do you expect them to go up? Has your credit score improved enough so that you might be eligible for a lower-rate mortgage? Would you like to switch into a different type of mortgage? The answers to these questions will influence your decision to refinance your mortgage. But before deciding, you need to understand all that refinancing involves. Visit http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/refinancings/ .

Call the Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline

Call the Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE (4673). If you are uncomfortable calling your lender or meeting someone face-to-face initially, call 888-995-HOPE to receive counseling from a HUD-certified housing counselor over the phone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Counselors on staff speak English, Spanish, and over 20 additional languages. .

Wisconsin Foreclosure Mediation Network

The Wisconsin Foreclosure Mediation Network, which began in July of 2009, has helped more than 3,000 families facing foreclosure. On average, just under 50% of all mediated cases resolve the foreclosure action with a loan modification, giving homeowners a fresh start and lenders a performing loan. When home retention is not a viable option, the programs provide resources and facilitate transitional options so borrowers have a dignified exit and soft landing. A survey, which included both lender’s counsel and homeowners, found that 98% of program participants would recommend the program to others in foreclosure. Visit the Wisconsin Foreclosure Mediation Network.

Foreclosure and Home Finance Glossary

Foreclosure is a legal process that employs many terms that may be new to you. The Homeownership Preservation Foundation put together a helpful glossary to help you understand the most common words and concepts. Foreclosure and Home Finance Glossary .

Fannie Mae: Options to Leave Your Home

Homeowners who are struggling with their mortgage payments are facing tough choices—do you stay in a home you may no longer be able to afford or should you try to leave? While it may be difficult to think about leaving your home and making this decision, it may be the best option if other solutions to keep you in your home are no longer viable. Options to Leave Your Home .

Fannie Mae: 62 and older? Reverse Mortgage as An Option

If you’re age 62 or older, you can receive money from your mortgage company by borrowing against the value of your home through a reverse mortgage. The payments you receive along with accrued interest and other charges increase the loan’s balance and decrease your equity in the property. Visit the Reverse Mortgage as An Option

Q & A for Reservists, Guardsmen and Other Military Personnel

Information from HUD regarding mortgage payment relief and protection from foreclosure provided under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act for active duty military personnel who had a mortgage obligation prior to enlistment or prior to being ordered to active duty. Visit the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act .

Lower Your Monthly Payments Through A Request to Cancel PMI

The Homeowners Protection Act gives you the right to request that your lender cancel PMI when you have reached the date when the principal balance of your mortgage is scheduled to fall to 80 percent of the original value of your home. Canceling PMI may help you reduce your mortgage payment by between $40 and $100 per month. Visit the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau .

Foreclosure Scams
Loan Modification Scam Alert Campaign

With the number of households behind on their mortgage payments still higher than before the housing crisis, homeowners remain vulnerable to loan modification scams. They desperately want help. Unfortunately, many pay for so-called services that provide no help at all. Loan modification scammers continue to take advantage of distressed homeowners using unethical and sometimes illegal tactics, causing homeowners to lose money and often times their homes. The Loan Modification Scam Alert Campaign empowers homeowners to protect themselves against loan modification scams, find trusted and often free assistance and report illegal activity to authorities. Visit Loan Modification Scam Alert.

Tips for Avoiding Mortgage Modification Scams and Foreclosure Rescue Scams

Scams that promise to "rescue" you from foreclosure are popping up at an alarming rate nationwide, and you need to protect yourself and your home. For more information, visit OCC Consumer Tips for Avoiding Mortgage Modification Scams and Foreclosure Rescue Scams.

FTC: Signs of Foreclosure Rescue Scam

Scammers are targeting people having trouble paying their mortgages. Some claim to be able to “rescue” homeowners from foreclosures, while others promise to modify your loan – for a fee. The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, wants you to know how to avoid scams that could make your housing situation go from bad to worse. VisitSigns of Foreclosure Rescue Scam.

Foreclosure in Rental Units
Foreclosure in Rental Units

Information from the Tenant Resource Center in Madison, WI for renters of units facing foreclosure, including applicable laws and information for tenants.. Visit The Tenant Resource Center.

Renters in Foreclosure: What Are Their Rights?

Information on tenant rights during a foreclosure. Visit NOLO: Renters in Foreclosure.

Getting Involved In Your Community
Federal Reserve Community Foreclosure Mitigation Toolkit

The Federal Reserve views the high rate of mortgage foreclosures as an urgent problem. Using the System's expertise and extensive network of national and regional relationships, the Fed is collaborating with other regulators, community groups, policy organizations, financial institutions and public officials to identify solutions to prevent unnecessary foreclosures and their negative effects. The goal of this toolkit is to provide resources to assist communities in addressing the current turmoil in the housing market and minimize the impact of foreclosures on neighborhoods. Web links and local resources are included.. Visit Federal Reserve Community Foreclosure Mitigation Toolkit.

Legal Action: Wisconsin Foreclosure Timeline
Wisconsin State Bar: Advising Clients Facing Foreclosure

When the American dream of home ownership turns into a financial nightmare, the realities of foreclosure can intersect with many legal practice areas, including bankruptcy, family law, probate, employment law, worker’s compensation, business law, and real estate and property law. Lawyers who understand the foreclosure process can help clients facing difficult circumstances. For more information, visit Wisconsin State Bar: Advising Clients Facing Foreclosure.

Wisconsin Real Estate Foreclosure Statutes
Housing Trust Fund Guide

Housing trust funds provide a very flexible way for governments to commit resources to provide decent affordable housing. They have generated needed funds, addressed critical housing needs and created new partnerships to build long-term support for housing. To learn more about establishing a local Housing Trust Fund, visit The Housing Trust Fund Project.