7 Ways to Avoid Foreclosure


Amy Gerrish, Realtor
Short Sale & Foreclosure Specialist

As a homeowner, you have options, and you don’t need to just lose your home to the bank, leaving you empty-handed.

We’re going to show you 7 ways to avoid your home from going into foreclosure, or at least buy you some time to get things back in order.

But before we jump into how to stop foreclosure, you need to understand why it is a big deal and how it can impact your future.

You might be ignoring the problem at this point

A part of you might even think that if you just let the bank take the house back, then you don’t have to deal with it anymore. But foreclosure can do a lot more harm than simply losing your house.

Avoiding foreclosure doesn’t have to be a hassle if you let the right people help you.  I have  been helping people navigate this process for over 10 years. 

Going through foreclosure, on average, tanks your credit report by at least 200 points.

In addition to holding on to your FICO score, you will also avoid having a record of home mortgage default.

1. You Might Be Able To Avoid The Entire Thing By Talking To Your Lender

This might sound obvious:

If you just pick up the phone and call your lender (or answer the calls they’re undoubtedly making to you), then you might find the absolute easiest way to resolve the problem.

Think about it–

…foreclosing on a home is costly for a bank or lender.

Not only are they not going to get paid the interest on the loan they made to you, but they’re going to lose a portion of the principle when it goes to auction!

When a home goes to auction, they often sell it at a severely discounted price.

They do this because they’d rather get some money than no money.

What does this mean for you?

You actually have a little bit of leverage here. You can negotiate with them and find out what options they’re willing to give you so that you can get back on track.

2. Forgiven Payments Might Get You Back On Track

One little-known fact about lenders:

They actually forgive payments sometimes, especially if it means that they’re more likely to help you get back on track with your loan.

If you can convince the lender that you simply went through a rough spot and you actually make enough income (or can reduce enough expenses) to continue making payments, they may forgive a loan payment or two.

This could be enough to keep you out of foreclosure entirely, but it may at least buy you some time.

Either way, it’s worth asking!

3. Freezing Your Interest Rate Might Be An Option

This one only works in one scenario:

If you are on an adjustable mortgage, the lender may be able to freeze the interest rate before it changes or increases in order to keep it manageable for you.

They may additionally extend the amortization period to help compensate for the different in payments and rate change.

This is called a loan modification (although it’s one of a few different things that they can do).

4. Add The Payments To Your Loan’s Balance

Take advantage of your equity:

If you’ve had the loan for a while, then you likely have some equity built up.

The lender may be willing to add your backpayments to the loan.

This is essentially a refinance, so your loan balance and amortization schedule will be different.

This could really help if you’re able to make regular payments but those already-owed payments are keeping you in the hole.

5. Selling The Home Can Be A Saving Grace

Hear me out:

Although you may not want to sell the home, or you simply think that you can’t, there’s always an option.

Phoenix Metro homes are in high demand, if your home is in fairly good condition we can help you sell it for top dollar and help you save the equity you have left. We have special pre-foreclosure rates to save you your equity.

6. Short Selling The Home Can Be The Next Best Option

This situation is for people that want to sell, but you owe the bank more  than what you can sell it for. You may already be at a point where the lender has filed a Notice of Default and you just don’t know if you have time.

If that’s the case, you still have the opportunity to sell your home fast before it goes to auction.

When the home goes to auction, the lender is simply going to sell it anyway, so presenting an active buyer is more likely to get approved because it saves them time and money anyway.

I have been helping home owners get out from underneath their homes for 10 years. It doesn’t cost you a dime.  Ask me how! I’d be happy to share how it works. 480-294-8680 or amy@phoenixmetrogroup.com

7. Filing For Bankruptcy Can Buy You Some Time

If keeping the home is your #1 goal:

Filing for bankruptcy can actually put a pause on the foreclosure process.

This doesn’t mean that you’re going to completely get out of it, but it may buy you some time, up to 2-4 months.

Get with a lawyer that specializes in bankruptcy, explain everything about your situation and all your finances, and they will recommend the best course of action to take.

This may not be an option if you’ve filed within the last 7 years, so make sure you find out what routes you can take from someone who can give you legal advice.

Amy Gerrish, REALTOR Short Sale & Pre-Foreclosure Specialist

Bottom Line?

If foreclosure is looming over you, there are things you can do!

There is a lot of foreclosure information available to you, from the web and your lender.

Don’t wait until the last minute.

Don’t wait until they take the home away from you.

Pick up the phone and either call your lender or call or text me. 480-294-8680

You’re going to get through it one way or another.

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Low down, a lot down, lower rates If you are purchasing another home that you plan on living in you have the most options! You can do anything from no down or low down, starting at 3%, to a large down payment of 10,15, or 20% and reduce your payment.
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Preparing your home to sell for professional photography

There are thousands of homes on the market, yours needs to be better. Follow our guide on preparing your home for professional photography.

Preparing your home to sell: One of the science’s of selling a home includes beauty. We partner with one of the real estate industry’s top professionals for high quality digital photos. But first, you need to do your part preparing your home to sell prior to their arrival. Watch this video to get your home in top shape:


Checklist preparing your home to sell:

(Downloadable Version Here)

(The Phoenix Metro Group Seller Programs)

  • Replace any burned out bulbs
  • For the best possible photos, we highly recommend replacing ALL bulbs with newer generation, white­light, daylight bulbs

  • Remove trash cans, gardening tools, etc from sight
  • Remove pets
  • Stow children’s and pet’s toys, coil hoses
  • Open patio umbrellas and set out cushions
  • Uncover BBQs, pools, spas
  • Put dogs into the garage or removed from the premises for the duration of the shoot
  • Bright flowers out front or by the door can add some great color

  • Clean Well, De-­Clutter
  • Remove pets
  • Remove/Replace/Repaint anything that is too “taste specific”
  • Valuables and Medications out of sight or locked up
  • Open window coverings (unless they are concealing a less than desirable view) or remove them entirely; rooms are larger when the eye can extend out of the window
  • Turn on all lights; fans off
  • Toilet lids down
  • Remove most, if not all, personal photographs (especially large portraits over fireplaces or in the main living areas; replace those with neutral art)
  • Conceal/remove garbage containers
  • Clear kitchen countertops. Leave a maximum of one appliance per countertop area. Countertop microwaves should be hidden from sight
  • Remove everything from the fridge (pictures, kids art, magnets, etc)
  • Keep floor coverings to the essentials. If you are unsure remove it entirely
  • Clear the bathroom countertops. Leave only a few decorative items or a floral or plant arrangement. Put out best towels
  • Empty the shower of shampoos, etc
  • Remove shoes from entryways
  • Make all beds
  • Remove all signs of pets (bowls, rugs, pillows, etc)
  • Remove any table coverings, de-clutter fireplace mantle

Yes, I want to sell my home.

Get a FREE instant home value report to get an idea how the market is in your neighborhood. We will be in touch with you shortly to go over your home selling goals. 

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About Desert Ridge

The Desert Ridge master-planned community comprises 5,700 acres and is situated in the Northeast Valley of Phoenix, Arizona. As one of Arizona’s largest master-planned communities, Desert Ridge could contain more than 50,000 residents.

Modern Exterior with Pool


Estimated Population Size


Number of Homes in Desert Ridge area.


Of households have children

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#1 – is 85142, 150 SALES – Which is kind of misleading, because 87 homes were sold in Queen Creek, Maricopa County and 63 were sold in San Tan Valley, Pinal County.  
#2. Buckeye 85326  – 124 SALES
#3 Peoria 85383  – 119 SALES
#4 Chandler 85225 – 117 SALES
#5 Sun City 85351 – 116 SALES
#6 Sun City West – 85375 110 SALES
#7 Maricopa 85138 – 102 SALES
#8 Surprise 85374 – 101 SALES
#9 Mesa 85207 98 – SALES
#10 Surprise 85388 – 98 SALES
The data is showing us a few things.
1. The retirement population equates as a known 21% of the sales as Sun City and Sun City West are number 5 and 6 on the list respectively. In the other 8 zip codes it is unknown how many of the population are of retirement age purchasing homes. Although, it is known that Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Maricopa, Mesa & Peoria all are very popular among this demographic because of affordability, amenities and nearby health care options.  I would assume this will shift into spring because many families tend to come out of the woodwork to land a home for when the school gets out so their kids don’t have to change schools near the end of the year.
2. Affordable housing options are still in high demand. I don’t have an exact number, my best guess is 40% +- of the purchases in all of the valley relied on some type low down program such as FHA, VA or USDA Financing. With $279,450 being the max that an FHA buyer can finance. However, the average income in the Metro is $51,492 which means with average debt, most buyers have been qualifying for a home buying power between $200k to $250k. Many are still in the $175,000 range.
3. Seller Assistance is at 37.6%. This is the amount of home buyers that relied on some kind of closing cost concession paid for by the Seller to help the buyer cover loan and title fees.
4. Cash sales rolled in at 22.8% of total sales.

125 Steps to Close Your Home

There are so many steps it takes to get your home ready for buyers all the way to closing day.  Realtors take care of a ton of details behind the scenes that often times their client’s don’t see. Here is an exhausting list of the “Realtoring” we do on the behalf of a seller client.

Here at The Phoenix Metro Group, we have selling homes down to a science. Amy doesn’t even need this list to check off the steps.  Kind of like the trauma team at the ER. The trauma staff knows how to analyze the data given and needs to make fast decisions without opening a training manual. The Phoenix Metro Group is well trained and will diligently work the 125 steps it takes to get your home successfully from contract to close.