I tip my hat to Ms. Michelle McLean, an associate with the law firm of Klyczynski, Girtz and Vogelzang in Grand Rapids. Ms. McLean is a lawyer who wrote a great article about resources available to consumers who face foreclosure, in the Michigan Lawyers Weekly of May 25, 2009.
In her article, Michelle suggests that homeowners facing foreclosure should consult the following free resources:

Michigan State Housing Development Authority
has established a “Save the Dream” program that can be reached at (866) 946-7432. They will connect you with a local housing counselor.
Another resource is the HopeNow Alliance. This is a non profit organization comprised of some of the largest lenders in the United States. Most lenders want people to stay in their homes because the cost of owning a home for a lender is extraordinary. When a lender takes a property back, it must still pay the taxes and utilities on it. Further still, it has to hire a property management company to go through the house, clean it up for resale and then periodically check on the property to make sure that nothing has happened to it. These costs only drag a bank’s profits downward which makes for very unhappy shareholders and a nervous FDIC.
It is a great idea to consult with these free resources in conjunction with a credit and collection attorney. If you simply do not have the resources to stay in your home, you should think about the following:
a. Is there any deal that you can make with the bank that will allow you to keep your home:
b. If you cannot keep the home, how much time can you expect to stay in the home before you absolutely have to leave;
c. an exit strategy that causes minimal disruption to your family and credit;
d. new housing for your family in light of your future income prospects and expectations;
I don’t want to sound like an infomercial, but these items should be discussed and decided in advance of approaching your lender for a loan modification. Gary Nitzkin at Nitzkin and Associates can help you through these issues.

Lessons to be learned

1. If you are a homeowner facing foreclosure, do not go it alone. There are valuable resources out there to help you stay in your home…USE THEM. Remember, the lenders want you to stay in your home as much as you want to stay there. The banks do NOT profit from taking your home and evicting you.
2. In conjunction with working with these free resources, it is wise to consult a credit and collection attorney. He or she can help you formulate a negotiation strategy and if necessary, an exit plan. These are your best resources.