Foreclosure Law: FindLaw launches new Foreclosure and Alternatives section � Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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As More Americans are Touched by Home Foreclosures, FindLaw.com Provides Free Resources to HelpFindLaw launches new Foreclosure and Alternatives section
EAGAN, Minn., May 11, 2009 - As the housing crisis and recession impact homeowners throughout the U.S., home foreclosures are now touching more and more Americans as well as their friends and neighbors. According to a new national survey* by FindLaw.com (http://www.findlaw.com), the most popular legal information Web site, nearly one in three Americans - 31 percent - say they know someone who has already lost their house to foreclosure.
In addition, one in four Americans - 27 percent - say they know someone who is currently going through the foreclosure process.
To help consumers cope with foreclosure and related issues - whether experiencing it themselves or supporting their friends or family - FindLaw.com has launched a new Foreclosure and Alternatives section on its site at http://foreclosure.findlaw.com/. The Foreclosure and Alternatives section offers free helpful information on a number of topics, including:
- Foreclosure basics - understanding the process and implications of foreclosure.
- Resources for understanding loan modification and other options for avoiding foreclosure.
- Understanding your mortgage.
- State-specific foreclosure assistance and information.
- Podcasts, videos and other tools for avoiding and surviving foreclosure.
"Foreclosure is a complex process and can be devastating to affected homeowners," said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney and editor at FindLaw.com. "In some cases it is unavoidable due to the homeowner's financial situation. However, many homeowners can avoid foreclosures or at least mitigate some of its consequences.
A number of different federal and state laws, regulations and procedures come into play, and can vary significantly from state to state. For example, many states have statutory redemption laws that allow the homeowner to regain ownership of the property after foreclosure sale if certain conditions are met. In addition, many states offer counseling programs to assist homeowners. It's important that homeowners be aware of and informed about the specific laws in their state and how they affect the foreclosure process."
FindLaw.com offers the following suggestions for homeowners who are worried they may be in danger of facing foreclosure:
- Talk to your lender. If you are receiving letters from your lender regarding missed mortgage payments, do not ignore the letters. If you are having problems making your payments, call or write to your lender's loss mitigation department as soon as possible and explain your situation. Many lenders have programs in place to help homeowners through difficult times. Be prepared to provide them with financial information, such as your monthly income and expenses.
- Explore alternatives to foreclosure. You may qualify for a number of alternatives to the foreclosure process, including special forbearance, in which your lender may be able to arrange a repayment plan based on your financial situation, and may even provide for a temporary reduction or suspension of your payments.
- Get professional help. Never sign legal documents without reading and understanding all the terms and getting professional advice from an attorney or a trusted real estate professional. Avoid companies that claim they can stop the foreclosure immediately or negotiate with your lender in exchange for a hefty upfront fee.
- Seek housing counseling. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) can direct you to HUD-approved housing counseling services offered by government agencies, as well as private and community organizations. These services are usually free of charge. Go to http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm or call (800) 569-4287.
Find Free Information Online. Free Internet resources, such as the FindLaw Foreclosure and Alternatives site (http://foreclosure.findlaw.com/), can provide useful information for homeowners worried about foreclosure.
Note to editors: Full survey results are available upon request.
*The FindLaw survey was conducted using a demographically balanced telephone survey of 1,000 American adults and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus three percent.
FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters, is a leading provider of free intelligent legal information, online marketing and client development services providing the legal industry and consumers with the knowledge to act. The FindLaw team of designers and engineers create results-oriented Web sites for individual attorneys and law firms. FindLaw Web sites are strategically designed to attract and retain clients, as well as support lead generation by leveraging dynamic content and industry leading marketing tools. Attorneys can also be prominently listed on www.FindLaw.com, home to the largest online directory of lawyers that assists consumers in finding an attorney by practice area. FindLaw.com is the most popular legal Web site with nearly four million consumers visiting each month for free information about a legal topic, to solve a legal problem, or to find a lawyer.
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial, legal, tax and accounting, scientific, healthcare and media markets, powered by the world's most trusted news organization. With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minn., Thomson Reuters employs more than 50,000 people in 93 countries. Thomson Reuters shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Toronto Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. For more information, go to www.thomsonreuters.com.