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What happens during the foreclosure process?

If you’ve received a notice of foreclosure, you may be confused about what the foreclosure process actually involves. Whether you are current on mortgage loan payments or have fallen behind, the following guide can help you understand how the foreclosure process works.

What is a foreclosure?

A foreclosure is an action by a lender to take ownership of property for which the loan is in default. It starts when a homeowner has fallen behind on home loan payments, thus defaulting on the mortgage loan. By definition the mortgage loan is secured by the value of the home, which means if the homeowner doesn’t pay the loan, the lender has the right to take the house.

Once a loan is in default, the mortgage lender will eventually attempt to recover the outstanding balance owed on the mortgage loan by taking the property and selling it to pay off as much of the loan as possible. The mortgage lender kicks off this process by filing a public Notice of Default.

What are your options after a Notice of Default has been filed?

There are several things that you can do after the foreclosure process has begun.

  1. Pay off the default. If you can find a way to pay off the default amount during the pre-foreclosure period, doing so could allow the mortgage loan to be reinstated. Work with your lender to establish a payment schedule.
  2. Sell the property. You could choose to sell the property during the pre-foreclosure period and put the proceeds toward the mortgage. Given the current economic conditions, it may be tough to sell your home at the market value.
  3. Short sale. If you are underwater on a mortgage loan you won’t earn enough from the sale to pay the full amount owed. In that case you might have to consider a short sale.
  4. Loan modification. Explore HAMP (Home Affordable Mortgage Program) and HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) loans to see if you qualify for a loan modification or a refinance with government assistance.

More about short sale

A short sale occurs when the mortgage lender agrees to accept less that what is owed on a home mortgage. Generally, you have to prove that you are experiencing extreme financial hardship to qualify for this type of deal. Be prepared to provide a lot of documentation for your financial woes. It’s also a good idea to line up a buyer before approaching the bank to request a short sale.

What if you do nothing?

If you do nothing after the foreclosure is started, the mortgage lender can take the property. The lender would then sell the house to recover as much as it can. The lender would be responsible for any repairs or maintenance needed to get the property in shape to sell. But mortgage lenders are not looking to manage properties, so most would rather find an alternative to having to take ownership. Armed with this information, being upfront with the lender about your situation and reaching agreement on a payment plan may make it possible for you to remain in your home.

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One Response to “What happens during the foreclosure process?”

  1. foreclosure refinance Says:

    You can stop foreclosure refinancing when you file for a plea to the bank and the real estate.

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