How to fight foreclosure

If you’re staring down foreclosure, don’t become “paralyzed by fear,” says Marshall Loeb in MarketWatch. You're not alone: foreclosure rates have doubled in the last year, and two million more mortgages are about to reset upwards. To save your house, contact your lender “as soon as possible” to show “you are acting in good faith”—the chances that your lender will help you out “go way down after you’ve missed three or four payments.” You might be able to work out a new payment schedule or renegotiate your loan, or your lender may agree to let you pay piecemeal or reduce your payments for a period of time.

“Saying ‘please’ hasn’t worked” so far, says The New York Times in an editorial. Subprime servicers agreed to modify “only 1 percent of loans on which monthly payments had increased” in the first half of 2007. Some officials think that aiding struggling homeowners “would violate the tenet of personal responsibility” that you only borrow what you can afford, but “that is simplistic.” The crisis is “rooted in reckless—and shamefully underregulated—mortgage lending.” And to fix it, we need “a rescue plan” from President Bush and the various bankers and lenders. “Mass foreclosures would wreak unacceptable damage.”