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Updated 2021: I Lost My House To Foreclosure [3 Lessons You Can Learn From Me]
I-lost-my-house-to-foreclosure-3-lessons-you-can-learn-from-me

Updated 2021: I Lost My House To Foreclosure [3 Lessons You Can Learn From Me]

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LATEST UPDATE: 10/27/2021

I am updating my foreclosure story to reflect the current Colorado foreclosure law. While my story stays the same I wanted to be sure I was giving you the best information to stop foreclosure too. 

Let’s get started.

This is a real story of how I lost my house to foreclosure. I write this so that you can see how the foreclosure process happened to me. I hope you will be able to learn from my mistakes. 

If you are facing foreclosure I know it is very stressful. For me, the foreclosure was very stressful but also embarrassing and caused me to be depressed. I was constantly crying. I felt like a failure. 

I hope by reading this you will see it happens to many people. You are not alone. 

I will add some useful links at the bottom also. 

Before you start take a look at this foreclosure timeline in Colorado really quick then come back here. It is a good idea to see it. Because you will learn that you have a lot more time than you think. 

My house sold at auction

my-house-sold-at-a-foreclosure-auction-2

This was the end result of many painful months. My house was sold at a public auction by the Sheriff in Denver, CO. They hold these auctions every week (which tells you that you aren’t the only one in foreclosure). The auctions are held at Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave. 1st Floor Atrium, Denver, CO 80202 (see map).

In hindsight, there were many ways I could have stopped the foreclosure. I hope my story sheds light on these and helps anyone out there in Denver also behind on their mortgage and facing a potential foreclosure. 

Life doesn't stop at foreclsoure

life-goes-on-after-a-foreclosure

The Bank repossessed it and sold it at auction.

But long story short… I worked hard and got a new home.  It doesn’t end at foreclosure!

Here’s the short version…

I have a beautiful wife and 2 girls.

I live in Denver, CO.

I bought a house in 2007.

I lost my job in 2009.

Lost the house in 2010.

Didn’t give up.

Got a new job in 2011– full-time.

Rebuilt my credit

Built-up savings and in 2015, I bought a new house.

Do you want to know where I am today?

10 Tips to stop a foreclosure in Colorado

Having gone through a foreclosure myself I want to share this fantastic article that gives you 10 tips to stop a foreclosure in Colorado that I truly wish I had read early on in my story. I 100% believe that if I need to stop a foreclosure in the future these tips will absolutely help!

My complete foreclosure story

This is my story of how I lost my house to foreclosure in 2010. It sucked bad. Real Bad. However, I want to share with you and 3 critical lessons I learned.

In today’s market, I am nervous. There is a lot of uncertainty in the economy. Jobs are coming and going.  I’m nervous, but I know this time around my family, and I will stay safe in our house – and I tell you why.

Who am I?

My name is James, I’m 43 years old. That’s me above posing for this story. Pretty good I reckon!

 I work as an electrician, and I live here in Denver, CO. In 2005-2006 we wanted to buy a house. Everyone was telling us we had to. House prices were going up. We all thought it was the best way to secure our future. At the time, we wanted to buy a house because we wanted to expand our family when our daughter was only 2 years old. We did want to have another kid. We were looking for that American dream, I guess…

You know, a white picket fence 2.3 children, whatever that number is. We actually established a budget, worked out what we could afford, then started looking around. It actually took quite a long time to find something. The market was pretty competitive, but we ended up finding a house, and our mortgage payments with everything was going to be $3,100 a month.

We were delighted because in the place I moved in, and everything was going great. Obviously, then we had the housing market crash in 2008.

Real estate advice from a friend

real-estate-advice-from-a-friend

Truthfully, I wasn’t too worried about it.  I had a good job, and we weren’t planning on going anywhere anytime soon. The house price went down, but I had a friend, Barry– much older, and he said not to worry about it too much. He’d seen it all before.

“Just keep paying the mortgage, and as long as you do that, it’ll come back – you’ll be fine.”

He was, and still is, a staunch believer of what goes up must go down. Then he’ll tell you it will just go right back up again.

 

So actually, everything was fine for quite some time. Work was keeping us busy enough so we could keep paying the bills.

I lost my job

But in 2010, I got sick for a little bit, and then work started to slow down a lot– the boss had to lay me off.

So that you know me and my ex-boss are still great friends. There was nothing he could do. In fact, he kept me on the way longer than he really should of, and I am super thankful for that.

That was really tough, and it turned south pretty quickly from there. 

We didn’t really have anything in savings, so we just couldn’t pay the bills without any other money coming in.

At first, we use credit cards as much as we could, but that quickly ran out. After that, we got behind on the mortgage payments. We started getting letters from the bank. It was a really horrible feeling, not being able to provide for my family.

So, in the end, the house was sold at auction. We stayed in it right up until the end. But then we had to find a place to rent.

Lowest point in my life

To this date, that is definitely the lowest point in my life. There were so many things I wished I had done differently. for a start, I wish I knew how to sell my house fast to save the equity we had saved in our home. For example, I could have reached out and sold to a professional home buyer especially if I had read an article like this one that advises you on all you must know when selling to a we buy houses company here in Denver AKA professional home buyer. 

However, i dint have that information at hand at the time. Hindsight is 20/20 right? 

That said we didn’t give up because now I had two little girls that we’re relying on me.

Eventually, I was able to get more work, which is great. We caught up on all our bills he even started putting a little money aside. We worked on our credit–building scores back up.

My wife and I started feeling good again, so we set a goal. By 2014 we were going to buy another house. It was still our dream. We weren’t sure how but we were going to do it.

We spoke to a bank to learn what we needed to do to buy another house. It wasn’t rocket science. We were kind of doing the right things anyway.

Saving some money, working on our credit, stuff like that.

We were able to buy a house again

Well, 2014 came and when and we didn’t buy a house. But we were ok. Because… that’s not where it ended. We were really close. We knew it, and the bank knew it. Then, finally, January 2015 rolled up, and we sat down again with the bank.

Guess what?  They said that they would lend money to us for rebuying a house. It was so awesome. My wife and I just looked at each other. We were going to get home again. For us, for our daughters to grow up in. Just like losing the house was the worst feeling in my life, this was probably the best feeling I’ve ever had, apart from getting married and my two daughters, of course. 

We got lucky and were in our new home by March. It happened real quick. We weren’t too picky – we knew what was needed – stuck to that and pulled the trigger. Thankfully too, because we got in just before our neighborhood went crazy.  In 2015 Denver blew up! House prices went through the roof.

Life after foreclosure

And that brings me to 2020. We’re still happily in the same home, and I have the same job.  Obviously, now, there’s a ton of uncertainty right now. The Corona Virus and the stock market are big uncertainties.

However, This time for me, it’s a little bit different.

Life has taught me a couple of things from last time.

Foreclosure lesson number 1

Don’t spend money on stuff you don’t need. This is a pretty simple lesson or rule but until you are facing serious financial ruin like I was it may not stick with you.

A real estate investor friend of mine shared a number of his secrets with me around the foreclosure process and not spending money unnecessarily is something that kept coming up during the conversation among other great tips. 

Foreclosure lesson number 2

Remember why you do it. Why do you get and go to work each day? 

Remembering this makes all the hard stuff so much easier! My “why” is my beautiful family. My why is also that I feel good owning a home, having friends, and giving my family financial security.

Foreclosure lesson number 3

Talk to your bank NOW! And buy yourself a safety net. Let me explain.

Firstly a disclaimer. I didn’t invent this.  Smart people have been doing it for ages. I learned this from my old friend I introduced earlier – Barry.

SO – this is how I am “buying” a safety net.

I am in the process of refinancing my house and taking out $61,200– I never refi’d since 2015, so appreciation gives me equity. A lot of people can still do this.

I chose $61,200 because it represents 3 years of mortgage payments for me.

I’m putting that money in a bank account with my bank. The only thing that money is for is to pay my mortgage if I lose my job.

When this crisis or recession is over, whatever is left in that account from the $61,200 I will pay back against my mortgage.  Hopefully, it will be all of it. This time I have a little more savings etc.

It will cost me interest and my payments will go up a little…

However This time I have a 3-year safety net, on top of my savings.  I will not lose my home again. 

It’s a wonderful feeling to know that we are in a much better position going into what might be a recession just by thinking about it.

Useful foreclosure resources

Avoid Foreclosure: Colorado

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