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U.S. foreclosures are soaring

Foreclosures — which can take the form of default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions — are hitting thousands of homeowners across the country.

Research from ATTOM, a property data firm, shows there were nearly 360,000 foreclosure filings last year — up 10% from 2022.

Additionally, while foreclosure filings slipped 4% in April compared to March, the number of completed repossessions actually climbed 8% month-over-month.

In some situations, like Haynes’s, a lack of financial planning for the future — such as creating a joint account shared with your spouse or naming a beneficiary on your bank account — can create financial troubles down the road.

But in many other cases, homeowners hit with rising property taxes and insurance bills, as well as sticky inflation, may simply be struggling to make their monthly payments.

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There are options for homeowners

In 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act set aside nearly $10 billion to support homeowners facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic through the Homeowner Assistance Fund.

This program is designed to help homeowners manage their monthly mortgage payments, homeowner’s insurance, utility payments and other expenses, while also helping them avoid foreclosure.

And the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) just this year launched the Payment Supplement option for borrowers with FHA loans.

This option allows mortgage servicers to temporarily reduce a borrower’s mortgage payment by up to 25% for three years without changing the interest rate on the home loan. The aim of this program is to give homeowners some breathing room and time to get their finances in order so they can resume making their regular payments later on.

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Serah Louis is a reporter with Moneywise.com. She enjoys tackling topical personal finance issues for young people and women and covering the latest in financial news.

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