If you have received a notice of foreclosure in the mail, don’t five up. The idea of losing your home is scary and stressful, but assistance is available.

You may be able to get foreclosure assistance by filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Filing a Chapter 13 will immediately stop the foreclosure of your home. However, it is important to file before the foreclosure sale happens.

After a Chapter 13 is filed, you will resume making your mortgage payments, including the past due payments. Past due payments are paid back interest free over a three to five year period, with payments that fit your budget. Any property taxes you owe can also be paid through a Chapter 13. In most cases all your other debt can also be taken care of. Unsecured debt such as medical bills and credit cards are most often completely erased and do not need to be repaid.

In the meantime, be sure to check your mail for delinquency notices. If you get a notice, respond promptly, even if you feel you cannot face it. Ignoring letters from lenders is never a good idea. There is a good chance that you will be able to resolve the defaulted mortgage on your own.

If you decide to sell your home to stop the foreclosure, you can expect to be able to remain living in your home for as much as seven to nine months without making a single payment. In fact, there is nothing bad about staying in the home for the purpose of saving enough money to relocate.