Life can be difficult. Everyone in the Chicago area may have their own definition of what constitutes “difficult.” For some it might mean making it through the workweek. For others, it might involve more fundamental concerns like getting food on the table or keeping a roof over the head.

As many discovered between 2008 and 2014 during the Great Recession, sometimes that last objective falls out of reach. But the reality is that such circumstances are always present. Foreclosures on homes didn’t just happen during that stretch of time. There were foreclosures before that; there are foreclosures today and there will be more in the future.

All it might take to trigger such an event is the loss of a job and the inability to quickly find a new one, a sudden deluge of bills due to a medical catastrophe or a lack of proper planning for retirement.

Regardless of why you might be in such a predicament, it’s best to avoid panic. Even in the face of possible foreclosure, there may well be options available that will allow you to weather the storm. Whether there is one that might fit your situation is something to explore with an experienced debt relief and foreclosure attorney.

Alternatives worth considering might include:

  • Seeking a special forbearance: This involves working with your lender to see if a temporary revised payment plan can be arranged.
  • Mortgage modification: This might be handled as part of a broader financial trouble recovery plan such as might be created as part of a bankruptcy filing.
  • One-time partial payment: If your mortgage is FHA-insured and you just need a quick shot of relief to get current on your mortgage, this might be an option.
  • Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure: This amounts to voluntarily giving back the deed to your property to your lender as a way to avoid the foreclosure process.

Either a short sale or a preforeclosure sale might also be beneficial if the circumstances are right. These methods allow you to sell the home for less than what is owed. Some might use the terms interchangeably but there are differences. To determine what’s best for your situation, it’s best to consult with a skilled attorney.