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Transcript: Forestalling foreclosure

Anchor Intro: Home foreclosures are reaching record levels in many parts of the country. And itís no wonder because most people who canít make their payments do the opposite of what they should. If youíre behind in your mortgage, heed this expert advice from Bankrate.com.

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Voice over 1: Mike Sichenziaís job is helping people who are about to lose their home to foreclosure. And his experience is that people behind on their payments are likely to do the wrong thing.

SOT: What most people do when theyíre behind on their loan is they crawl under their sheets and hide, thinking the problem is going to go away on its own. And that is the worst thing they can do.

Voice over 2: It's a natural reaction, but itís no way to beat a ticking clock. What you should be doing is the exact opposite.

SOT: "Call up the bank and explain your scenario and invite them to provide solutions for you. Iím here to tell you .. tell the truth. In this case, the truth will set you free."

Voice over 3: As soon as youíre off the phone, write it all down and send it to the bank in a letter, referencing your phone call. Now itís time to reveal your situation in detail.

SOT: ďThe next thing to do is get in order your finances Ö get them in order. Develop your budget for your household, take a piece of paper out, write down your expenses, your income and list all your bills. Send that off to the bank.Ē

Voice over 4: And be forewarned: Donít expect the bank to be nice or friendly. In fact, donít expect for them to even respond at all.

SOT: ďItís very important for you to stay in contact. Remember, youíre the one losing your house, not the bank.Ē

Standup: If you need help, find it. There are low-cost housing counselors out there, and law firms like the one Mr. Sichenzia works with. But if you see that youíre not making it, act and act quickly. Time isnít on your side. For Bankrate.com, I'm Kristin Arnold.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy
-- Posted: Oct. 31, 2008
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