Housing Help: Next steps and resources when you’re at risk of foreclosureHousing Help: Next steps and resources when you’re at risk of foreclosure (Spanish)

Consumer Action – Housing Help: Next steps and resources when you’re at risk of foreclosure (

This guide can help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure, or, if foreclosure is imminent, understand their options, rights and next steps. It includes a wide variety of resources, including where to turn for professional advice and guidance. Available in English and Spanish.

Foreclosure Assistance

No one expects to fall behind on their mortgage payment or lose their home to foreclosure, but sometimes the unexpected challenges of life can make the responsibility of homeownership tough.

Tax Foreclosure Assistance

Scams & Fraud

Before seeking foreclosure assistance, it is important to understand the following: 

  • There is never an up-front charge for foreclosure prevention counseling. It is always confidential and free of charge. 
  • Foreclosure counseling is not reported to any credit reporting agency and will not impact your credit score 
  • Download Take Root Milwaukee’s Warning Signs & Steps to Take When Facing Foreclosure

Predatory Lending & Mortgage Rescue Scams

Predatory lenders often target homeowners with financial challenges and who might not be award of options. They will try to take advantage of your circumstances with tactics that convince you to take a loan that will make your financial problems worse and increase the risk of losing your home. They will often offer loans with: 

  • Higher interest rates than the rates for which you may qualify 
  • Excessive loan fees 
  • Unnecessary costs like prepaid life insurance 
  • Terms that will make it very difficult or impossible for you to repay the loan 

Scam artists often target homeowners who are struggling to meet their mortgage commitment or anxious to sell their home. While all homeowners are vulnerable to these scams, scam artists tend to target people of color, the elderly and those with limited English. 

“Rescue” scams come in many forms – this handout from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council lists common scams, tips to avoid them and resources. 

Avoid Commons Scams

  • Beware of anyone who asks you to pay a fee in exchange for lowering your interest rate or modifying other terms of your mortgage, or for other help with foreclosure prevention. 
  • Never make a mortgage payment to anyone other than your mortgage company without the mortgage company’s approval. And beware of anyone who tells you to stop communicating with your mortgage company. 
  • Beware of anyone who guarantees their help. While organizations who provide this service have experience, there is never a guarantee that foreclosure mediation will work. 
  • Beware of people who pressure you to sign papers immediately or who try to convince you that they can “save” your home if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house. 

Mediation Services

Foreclosure Mediation for Homeowners and Lenders

Foreclosure mediation helps homeowners facing foreclosure work with their mortgage companies through the assistance of a mediator.  The mediator is a professional who understands mortgage companies’ loan modification review process and who is trained to improve communication between the parties. The mediator helps them explore options to allow the homeowner to keep the property or plan a respectable exit strategy.


Understand Racial Bias in Appraisals

From the HUD Exchange Website: Learn about racial bias in appraisals, how it negatively impacts the ability to effectively advance property appraisal and valuation equity, and how to support those impacted.

About this Learning Pathway

This Learning Pathway helps fair housing practitioners and others learn about appraisals and appraisal bias, a pervasive issue that contributes to the widening wealth gap in many communities of color across America, and how racial bias in home valuations limits the financial returns associated with homeownership, thereby contributing to the already sprawling racial wealth gap. The National Fair Housing Training Academy (NFHTA) presents this Learning Pathway in line with bold efforts detailed in the President’s Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) Task Force Action Plan.

City of Madison: Property Tax Assistance for Senior Citizens

The City’s Property Tax Assistance for Seniors Program is available to pay all or a portion of a homeowner’s property taxes. No monthly payments for living expenses are allowed. The City of Madison has worked to keep costs to a minimum. There is no monthly payment. 

Charges include:

  •  Annual interest rate based on the City’s cost of borrowing plus one percent.
  • Loan cost includes title search to verify ownership of the property and recording of the lien on your property and any other necessary documents with the Dane County Register of Deeds.This cost is approximately $135 and may be added to the amount borrowed.

Property Qualifications

  • The property must be located in the City of Madison.
  • The property must be a single-family home, condo or one-half of a duplex.
  • The property must be the principal residence of, and owned by, the person(s) applying for the Property Tax Assistance for Seniors mortgage loan program.