Lenders and servicers typically contract field service companies to secure vacant homes during the foreclosure process. This is meant to keep the home free of squatters, maintain the structural integrity of the property, and keep it safe from any natural elements. It’s also important for the neighborhood’s safety and surrounding home values that these homes are well-maintained while they’re vacant.
However, sometimes the lender may start to treat the property as vacant while it is still occupied. Whether the lender is doing this intentionally or mistakenly, there are steps you can take to prevent this from happening:
Call the lender when you miss your payment: Talking to the lender when you’re unable to make a payment can be terrifying. If you’re unsure of how the foreclosure process works, you might not be sure of what you should or shouldn’t tell the lender. However, if you avoid speaking with the lender entirely, they will not know if the property is still occupied. Just know that you have the right to remain in the property until the foreclosure is complete.
Write a letter to your lender: The letter should inform the lender that you are residing in the property. Send it through certified mail with a return receipt request to have proof that the lender received your letter. Keep a copy of the letter and the proof of receipt in a safe place.
Call the field service company if they leave a notice: If the field service company is unsure of whether the property is vacant, they may post a notice on your door. This might happen if they don’t see any cars in the front, which could be because you’re out of town or at work. To prevent them from coming back to the property and replacing the locks, call the field service company to inform them that the property is still occupied.
Even if you take the steps to prevent the field service company from treating your home as vacant, you might still find yourself in a situation where they have unlawfully locked you out. If this is the case, you may contact us directly for personalized advice.