Green shoots in the economy are not likely to grow into fruit bearing trees soon to rescue straggling people in time. Foreclosures continue to gain speed like an out of control train. Despite administrations efforts, reports suggest that there will be millions of foreclosures in the coming years. Home owners who are facing foreclosure need to act early to avoid foreclosure proceedings. We will discuss the ways to avoid foreclosure in this article. Here is what people could do to keep their home; Home owners anticipating difficult times ahead could act much earlier and refinance their property. Refinance home mortgage loan may reduce the overall debt payment by consolidating several higher interest loans in one mortgage. Furthermore, home owners may cash out some of the equity in their home to weather the difficult times ahead. Refinance could be a solution at the very early stages of the problems. It needs anticipation of the problems and acting early on before they start becoming a real problem. Once homeowner starts missing the mortgage payments, refinance option my no longer be feasible. Loan Modification is a bit further down the line. If the home owners have already fallen behind the mortgage due to sudden unforeseen circumstances and need assistance in catching up with the loan, they need to contact their lender. The existing mortgage lender may agree to modify the loan should a compelling case presented to them. Homeowner needs to put a good case together explaining why the mortgage payments were missed and how they will be paid in the future. Should the lender be convinced that the problems were temporary and the home owner could get out of trouble with a little help, they could modify the loan. With the loan modification the borrower may be allowed longer time to pay the arrears, their rate may be reduced and the payment term may be extended to reduce the immediate burden. People with mortgage arrears should not wait until the mortgage lender takes action, they should take action themselves to resolve the problem. Third option is mortgage forbearance agreement. This is a payment plan agreement between the lender and borrower. Homeowner contacts bank and a mortgage payment plan drawn out to bring the payments up to date in a certain period of time. As long as borrower keeps up with payments in the plan mortgage company is happy not to proceed with foreclosure. A forbearance agreement can be a good option for homeowners who had problems in the past, but they can now start paying their monthly payments and a bit more towards the past arrears. If the home owner convinced that they can not keep the house or keep up with the payments, they may get out of the debt by selling the property. In some cases, it may be a better option. They will still need to take action, even the value of the property is lower than the loan amount, to protect their credit score falling even further and being chased by the mortgage company for years. The solution could be a short sale agreement which allows borrowers to sell their property for less than owed on the loan. It may be best to work with a short sale specialist or real estate lawyer to complete this complex process. The homeowner should try to get the bank agree to accept the sale price as a full settlement of the mortgage loan. Deed in lieu of foreclosure is last option available to borrowers facing mortgage foreclosure. Basically, borrowers give the property back to the bank and walk away. Like short sales, some banks issue deficiency judgments when property is sold for less than owed on the loan and some may not see the point and write of the loss. Debtors should not be resentful. Even though they have handed the keys, they should communicate with the bank. Convincing the bank officers that they have nothing left to be taken away may let them off the hook for the shortfall. Under no circumstances property should be knowingly damaged or left for vandalism. Homeowners need to know that they are not the only people with problems and they may find the lenders cooperative. Mortgage lenders do not want further foreclosed properties in their books. They would rather the borrower stayed in their property and keep paying. So many lenders are prepared to cut the interest rates or extend the payment period, if they are convinced that this may stop the foreclosure. Homeowner may need to do some explaining and convincing to keep their home. If they can not see a way out of the problem, they still need to communicate with the bank and take action. Last two options could still be a better outcome than foreclosure.