I recently met a woman in Long Beach who was only days away from losing her home. She had lived in the city her whole life, made payments every month for seven years, and never even considered the possibility of foreclosure.

But ever since getting laid off, she’d been struggling to make her mortgage payments. As she searched for a new job, she slid into default, and now found herself on the verge of homelessness. She was embarrassed and felt like she was completely out of options.

While I never want to see anyone going through such a struggle, I was glad that our paths had crossed so I could tell her what I’m about to tell you: if you’re facing foreclosure, you’re not alone and you do have options.

Right now, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (or FDIC, as it’s commonly known) says that 1 out of every 200 homes in America will be foreclosed upon. It’s happening to all kinds of people, but the sad truth is, foreclosures are common in Long Beach. There are around 500 homes in the area in some stage of pre-foreclosure or foreclosure.

If you’re facing foreclosure, you may be feeling backed into a corner and ready to try anything. But it’s important that you do the right thing. So take a breath and consider these three things you shouldn’t do if you don’t want to lose your home:

Don’t Panic.  

We know that’s easier said than done but it’s important that you try. You might have already received a legal notice saying that your house is going to be sold at public auction – and that’s definitely a scary thought – but the timing and process can vary, so there’s a chance you have some time. In California, it takes an average of 429 days to complete a foreclosure after the proceedings start. And while that might sound like a lot of time, you have to remember it’s just an average, so you could have a whole lot less.

Don’t Walk Away.

Some people think that the best way to deal with foreclosures is to just walk away from the house, thinking they can wash their hands of the problem. But this will actually make things worse. If you abandon the house, you’re probably going to take a huge hit to your credit – somewhere around 100 points – and that will make it very hard to get new housing and even potential employment for years to come. Plus, you still may owe a balance after the home is sold at auction anyway.

Don’t List with an Agent.

Depending how far along you are in the process, you might consider putting your house on the market to find a buyer. You need to understand how risky that is. First thing, if you’re lucky enough to find a buyer, you’re probably going to sell for a lot less than you need. Houses in foreclosure tend to sell for 26.8% (or $113,000) less than the house is worth. But it’s more likely that you’re going to have a problem standing out in the crowd. There are almost 80,000 homes listed in foreclosure right in California, and Long Beach and its surrounding area have almost double (and sometimes triple) the amount of active foreclosures in Southern California.

Take Action Now.

It’s important to get ahead of the problem before you’re too far behind to fix it. Sell Your House Direct specializes in helping people like you in situations like this. What little time you have left is extremely valuable. The average home can sit on the market for 69 days and plenty of deals fall apart before they are ever finalized. The deals we make always go through. We will purchase your home for cash and we will close the deal in a matter of days. This means you’ll have money in your pocket to find a new place and start fresh. Contact us today to get a cash offer within 24 hours.

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