Maintaining a Positive Attitude During Tough Times

By: Nef Cortez

It should be obvious to most people that any homeowner who is undergoing
foreclosure didn't want to be there! While most people can identify the root
causes of foreclosure as financial hardships caused by loss of a job, accident,
injury, chronic illness or divorce, these added pressures and a negative
mindset often reduce the chances for a positive outcome. Unfortunately, most
homeowners fail to take positive action because they find themselves in such
emotional, as well as financial, turmoil that many do not see themselves as
successfully resolving the problem they got into. Very often they are
understandably, wrapped up emotionally in the incident that precipitated the
foreclosure itself, whether it was a job loss, chronic illness etc., rather
than the serious financial situation that now looms before them.
One of the worst things a homeowner facing foreclosure can do is to avoid
contacting their lender because they are embarrassed, upset or angry. Many
times the homeowner mistakenly believes the lender will not be inclined to
provide help because they feel that lenders prefer to foreclose on the
property. In reality, this couldn't be further from the truth.
The fact is that banks and other lenders are primarily in the business of
earning money by collecting interest on loans that they have made. Their net
income is derived by having a specific process in place in order to invest and
receive the interest payments. They find it cumbersome to go through the
foreclosure process, and usually are not well equipped to manage foreclosed
properties. Because of this, most lenders are willing to work with homeowners
since a ??foreclosure?? is much more costly for them in the long run. It forces
them to allocate time and resources to an unprofitable activity. Thus most
lenders have developed various assistance programs to assist a homeowner who
has defaulted on their mortgage payments and is now facing foreclosure.
One must keep in mind that in the foreclosure process, as opposed to the other
problems affecting the homeowner, ??time is of the essence?? as foreclosure
proceedings usually follow a legal time frame of approximately 120 days.
Finding ways to develop a positive frame of mind and proactive habits will make
all the difference in what the homeowner's outcome will be. Even in the worst
case scenario-- the chance that the homeowner may have to sell his home-- there
are two other important factors that he should be motivated to salvage-his
credit and/ or equity. Each day that a homeowner delays in discussing his or
her options with his lender puts the homeowner in a much more precarious
position than he or she might otherwise be had he or she communicated with the
lender as early as possible.
Although it seems completely insensitive, the fact is that none of the serious
decisions a homeowner will have to make will be possible with a negative
mindset and defeatist attitude. No doubt like many other unpleasant life
situations it is always easier said than done!
The following excerpt clearly explains how negative feelings and thoughts can
affect a homeowner's ability to make sound and rational decisions at this
crucial time. According to Jeffrey Gitomer in his book,
Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude: How to Find, Build and Keep a YES! Attitude
for a Lifetime of Success, the following are the effects of negative thoughts
and feelings:

-They drain your energy.
-They block positive thought and creative thought.
-They cause stress.
-They cause worry.
-They can cause illness.
-They cause errors.
-They reduce productivity
-They cause anger
-They prolong painful situations.
-They affect the way you listen to others.
-They affect the way you communicate with others.
-They affect the way you deal with others.
-They take the fun out of your life.

As can be clearly seen by this list, all these factors contribute to the
muddled thinking, failure to be proactive and unwise decisions most homeowners
make during this time of extreme financial pressure. Too many homeowners
become paralyzed by their emotions and negative feelings and therefore, fail to
take timely action which actually makes matters much worse.

The homeowner should do everything within his power to develop and maintain a
positive mindset. He or she will be able to think a lot clearer, find viable
solutions, evaluate sound options and reduce stress considerably. In
addition, opting to develop a positive frame of mind will help the homeowner to
gain the composure he or she needs in order to deal with all the people that
will be assisting them in this process, i.e. the lender, lawyer and/or realtor
and enable the homeowner to be less vulnerable to predatory investors or other

Although not to be taken as advice from a mental health professional, in my
experience, I have seen that homeowners that were determined to hang on to
their positive frame of mind, who surrounded themselves with supportive family
and friends and who believed beyond a doubt that ??failure is an event-and not
a person?? usually managed to handle the foreclosure in all its stages, with a
better outcome for all parties involved, than those who did not.

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