As the foreclosure crisis spreads, a number of foreclosure-related books are hitting the bookshelves. Every book will have something different to offer. Each author will be giving you the benefit of personal experiences, favorite tips on strategy and tactics, and opinions on the best approach to dealing with foreclosure. While every book is sure to contradict every other one in some particular, that should not worry you. A little confusion can be very helpful it it makes you think. There is no one truth to these matters, and sooner or later you will sort things out. Here is a list of recommended books you may find helpful:
- The Foreclosure Survival Guide, If you're one of the 2 million Americans who are having trouble making your mortgage payments or are already in jeopardy of foreclosure, this guide will give you the practical information you need.
- How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, by Stephen Elias, Robin Leonard, and Albin Renauer (Nolo). As the title says, this book explains everything you need to know about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Keep Your Property & Repay Debts Over Time, by Stephen Elias and Robin Leonard (Nolo). This is a guide to the whole Chapter 13 process, including instructions for coming up with a repayment plan and filling in required forms.
- The New Bankruptcy: Will It Work for You?, by Stephen Elias (Nolo). If you're not sure whether or not bankruptcy is the right way to go for you and your family, this book will highlight the pros and cons and help you evaluate your situation.
- Credit Repair, by Robin Leonard and John Lamb (Nolo). If your credit is in the tank and you want to take steps to make it better, this is the book for you. It provides all the steps that have traditionally been necessary to raise your credit score.
- Foreclosures: Defenses, Workouts, and Mortgage Servicing, by John Rao, Odette Williamson, Tara Twomey, Geoff Walsh, Andrew G. Pizor, Diane E. Thompson, Margot Saunders, and John W. Van Alst (National Consumer Law Center). This is the best book out there for in-depth legal research on the subject of foreclosure. It covers:
- how to negotiate pre-foreclosure workout agreements, and current workout options with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Rural Housing Service
- how to challenge mortgage servicer abuses
- foreclosure litigation, including power of sale, due on sale, and substantive and procedural defenses
- raising loan broker and loan originator-related claims against the mortgage holder
- special rights to stop foreclosure of Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Rural Housing Service mortgages
- mobile home foreclosures, and
- tax liens and tax foreclosures.
- Foreclosure Prevention Counseling: Preserving the American Dream, by Odette Williamson, Elizabeth Renuart, and Mark Benson (National Consumer Law Center). This excellent consumer resource provides a nuts-and-bolts approach to the various modifications offered by different banks and government agencies. It has an excellent appendix detailing state foreclosure and property tax abatement laws.
- Foreclosure Defenses: Non-Bankruptcy & Bankruptcy Defenses, by Craig Triance (The King Bankruptcy Practice Series). This book provides valuable information and forms that will assist you in fighting your foreclosure in state and federal courts. Although the book is pricey, it costs much less than a typical real estate or bankruptcy lawyer will charge for an hour of work. Although the book is primarily written for lawyers, the author fortunately writes in plain English.
Excerpted from The Foreclosure Survival Guide, by Stephen Elias (Nolo).