My latest Money Crashers article is on a topic I hope none of my readers will ever have to deal with: home foreclosure. Losing your home has got to be financially and emotionally devastating under any circumstances, and when it happens because you couldn't meet your payments, you have the added burden of feeling like it's all your fault.
The good news is that there are ways to avoid a foreclosure. If you act soon enough, you might be able to avoid falling behind on your payments altogether, either by raising extra cash or by refinancing the loan. If you're already behind, you still have a chance to save your home through a home loan workout (such as a loan modification). And if worse comes to worst and you know you can't get caught up, you can at least shield yourself from the worst effects of foreclosure through a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure.
So, once again, I hope you'll never need to know this—but it's worth learning anyway. That way, if you or someone you know ever ends up in this terrible situation, at least you'll know your options.