Foreclosure is the order of legal proceedings by which a lender sells or repossesses a home when the homeowner has stopped making payments on the mortgage. As a homeowner, understanding the individual steps of the sequence is critical to understanding your rights and responsibilities along the way.
These days, very few states require the lender to take the homeowner to court to foreclose on the home. The process in most states is known as nonjudicial foreclosure.
In most states, a homeowner must fall 90 days behind on their mortgage before the mortgage lender can legally initiate the foreclosure process. So if you have missed fewer than three payments, you’re not actually in foreclosure. However, this phase is very important, because (a) you have to go through it before the foreclosure process can start, and (b) this is the phase in which you as a homeowner have the most options at your disposal.
If you are in the missed payment stage, this is the best time to rework your finances, to call your lender to work out a compromise, and to put your home on the market for a fast sale. Check out 7 Steps to Avoid Foreclosure for specifics on what to do in the missed payments phase.
This auction is either held on the steps of the county courthouse or in the trustee’s office. In many states, the homeowner has the “right to redemption” (he can come up with the outstanding cash and stop the foreclosure process) up to the moment the home is sold at the auction.
At the auction, the home is sold to the highest bidder. The big catch is that these auctions require cash payment in most states; few third-party buyers can afford to bring enough cash to the courthouse to pay in full. As a result, many lenders either simply ink an agreement with the homeowner to take the property back (called a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure — see No. 4 in 5 Ways You Can Stop the Foreclosure Process) or buy it back themselves at the auction.
Due diligence is one of the most important actions you should do to stop you from buying a problem property that has liens or other legal action against it.
Always check for code violations
Neighborhood crime rate statistics
FEMA flood zones
Hazardous waste dumps nearby.
When a notice of default has been posted are also sent to the title companies, so a little research on the title companies listed in your area, can possibly get you on their mailing list and save you a lot of time an efforts.
If a third party has not purchased the property at the foreclosure auction, the lender takes ownership of it. Then, the property becomes what is called a bank-owned property, also known as REO, short for Real Estate Owned (by lender).
REOs are sold in one of two ways. Most often, they are listed with a local real estate agent for sale on the open market; they are usually put on the multiple listing service (MLS) so that local buyers’ agents can show and sell the property to a qualified buyer for a commission. Some lenders prefer to sell their REO properties at an REO liquidation auction, often held in auction houses, at convention centers or at the property.
Foreclosure is a legal process in which a lender attempts to recover the balance of a loan from a borrower who has stopped making payments to the lender by forcing the sale of the asset used as the collateral for the loan Formally, a mortgage lender (mortgagee), or other lienholder, obtains a termination of a mortgage borrower (mortgagor)‘s equitable right of redemption, either by court order or by operation of law (after following a specific statutory procedure Usually a lender obtains a security interest from a borrower who mortgages or pledges an asset like a house to secure the loan. If the borrower defaults and the lender tries to repossess the property, courts of equity can grant the borrower the equitable right of redemption if the borrower repays the debt. While this equitable right exists, it is a cloud on title and the lender cannot be sure that they can successfully repossess the property. The foreclosure process as applied to residential mortgage loans is a bank or other secured creditor selling or repossessing a parcel of real property after the owner has failed to comply with an agreement between the lender and borrower called a “mortgage” or “deed of trust.” Commonly, the violation of the mortgage is a default in payment of a promissory note, secured by a lien on the property. When the process is complete, the lender can sell the property and keep the proceeds to pay off its mortgage and any legal costs, and it is typically said that “the lender has foreclosed its mortgage or lien.”
TYPES OF FORECLOSURES
The mortgage holder can usually initiate foreclosure at a time specified in the mortgage documents, typically some period of time after a default condition occurs. Within the United States, Canada and many other countries, several types of foreclosure exist. In the U.S., two of them – namely, by judicial sale and by power of sale – are widely used, but other modes of foreclosure are also possible in a few states.Judicial foreclosureForeclosure by judicial sale, more commonly known as judicial foreclosure, which is available in every state (and required in many), involves the sale of the mortgaged property under the supervision of a court, with the proceeds going first to satisfy the mortgage; then other lien holders; and, finally, the mortgagor/borrower if any proceeds are left. Under this system, but notification requirements vary significantly from state to state.Non-judicial foreclosureForeclosure by power of sale, also known as nonjudicial foreclosure, is authorized by many states if a power of sale clause is included in the mortgage or if a deed of trust with such a clause was used, instead of an actual mortgage. This process involves the sale of the property by the mortgage holder without court supervision. This process is generally much faster and cheaper than foreclosure by judicial sale. As in judicial sale, the mortgage holder and other lien holders are respectively first and second claimants to the proceeds from the sale. Historically, the vast majority of judicial foreclosures have been unopposed, since most defaulting borrowers have no money with which to hire counsel. Therefore, the U.S. financial services industry has lobbied since the mid-19th century for faster foreclosure procedures that would not clog up state courts with uncontested cases, and would lower the cost of credit (because it must always have the cost of recovering collateral built-in. ..Strict foreclosure/judicial foreclosureIn the United States, there are two types of foreclosure in most states described by common law. Using a “deed in lieu of foreclosure,” or “strict foreclosure”, the noteholder claims the title and possession of the property back in full satisfaction of a debt, usually on contract. In the proceeding simply known as foreclosure (or, perhaps, distinguished as “judicial foreclosure”), the lender must sue the defaulting borrower in state court. Upon final judgment (usually summary judgment) in the lender’s favor, the property is subject to auction by the county sheriff or some other officer of the court. Many states require this sort of proceeding in some or all cases of foreclosure to protect any equity the debtor may have in the property, in case the value of the debt being foreclosed on is substantially less than the market value of the real property; this also discourages a strategic foreclosure by a lender who wants to obtain the property. In this foreclosure, the sheriff then issues a deed to the winning bidder at auction. Banks and other institutional lenders may bid in the amount of the owed debt at the sale but there are a number of other factors that may influence the bid, and if no other buyers step forward the lender receives title to the real property in return.
- Loan modification or forbearance arrangements
- Bring mortgage payments up to date.
- Reinstatement of the mortgage.
- Mortgage refinancing.
- Bankruptcy chapter 13.
- Put the house on the market FOR SALE.
BENEFITS OF PRE-FORECLOSURE
A chance to research and inspect property
Ability to avoid expensive bidding process.
Ability to structure sales agreements and creative financing.
Fewer hassles from lenders, banks etc.
The potential for minimum cash down payments.