Foreclosure of a family's home can be a substantial negative event in a homeowner's life. Defaulting on mortgage payments for a main residence may force a family into homelessness. In addition to losing the family home, a foreclosure may adversely affect the future creditworthiness of the mortgage holder.
If the amount of debt owed by the mortgagee is higher than the value of available assets held by the homeowner, a deficiency judgment may be initiated against the debtor, which also can adversely affect one's ability to obtain credit. However, some steps may be taken at the beginning of a financial crisis to avoid drastic measures such as foreclosure.