The best way to avoid dealing with a zombie foreclosure (or a zombie property) is to sidestep the foreclosure process altogether. If you're having trouble paying your mortgage, it's a good idea to look into other options that can resolve your money troubles before it comes to foreclosure.
For example, if your credit score is in good shape and you’ve built equity in your home, you might be able to qualify for a refinance. Loan modification is another alternative to foreclosure that lets you make adjustments to your loan terms so that your mortgage is more affordable. Don’t forget to check and see whether you’re eligible for a government initiative like the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). That helps borrowers reduce the size of their mortgage payments.