The Foreclosure Process and Your Best Options

foreclosure processTyping the words ‘foreclosure process’ into Google is something no one should have to do, but the harsh reality is this: one out of every 200 homes will be foreclosed upon.

If you feel like you haven’t been given proper notice, then check your state laws. Most states have strict regulations on what constitutes a proper eviction or foreclosure notice. Likewise, if you have not received ample opportunity to pay ahead of the property’s foreclosure sale, you might have cause to challenge the sale. But what if you have received a proper foreclosure notice? Then it is time to talk to a real state lawyer immediately.

While your lawyer will be able to advise you on your specific legal situation, you may also benefit from a deeper understanding of the foreclosure process, which can be stressful and downright terrifying.

The foreclosure process

Step 1. Notice of Default: This is the official notice that the creditor has defaulted on the mortgage loan. In this letter, you will get information about how much you owe, how long you have to pay, and what will happen if you can’t. If you pay the amount due in the time allotted, your house will remain yours. If not, you move to step two. Before you pay anything though, run the document by your attorney. He or she will work toward finding out whether there is anything that would delegitimatize the notice of default, such as failure to comply with state real estate laws.

Step 2. Assess your options: Even when you can’t afford to pay what you owe, you still have options, but they aren’t great. If the foreclosure notice holds up against the law, you can try re-negotiating your mortgage payment plan via a loan modification. This can be tricky, but your lawyer can help you through the process. The second option you have is exchanging the deed for the balance owed. Third, you can short the property for less than the loan. You will still be responsible for the remaining balance, however. These options are best explored with the guidance of a real estate attorney.

Step 3. The House Goes Up For Auction: After the deadline to repay has passed, you will be expected to vacate the premises, and fast. Your creditor, in hopes of recuperating your unpaid mortgage, places your house on an open auction. It is common for creditors to only accept cash at these auctions, so while they often don’t make a huge profit off your house, the bidding usually starts at what you owed.

In the end, foreclosure is never an enjoyable process, but if you get a lawyer you will be on a much better footing for the fight to come. To find out more about past personal property law cases and their outcomes, ask your lawyer or consult the public records in your area.