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What Is Home Foreclosure

Phase : Notice Of Default

How Does Foreclosure Work in Real Estate?

A notice of default is sent after the fourth month of missed payments . This public notice gives the borrower 30 days to remedy past due payments before formally starting the foreclosure process.

Most lenders will not send a notice of default until the borrower is 90 days past due . Thus, many times a borrower can fall behind a month or two without facing foreclosure.

Generally, federal law prohibits a lender from starting foreclosure until the borrower is more than 120 days past due.

How Long Can I Stay In My Home After Foreclosure

As discussed previously, you do not have to move out of your home as soon as the foreclosure process begins. You are allowed to stay in your house until the foreclosure process is complete .

How long you can remain in the home after the foreclosure sale depends on where you live. For example, some states have a redemption period, which gives the former homeowner an opportunity to buy the home back. However, if you remain on the foreclosed property after the legal time has passed, you can be evicted.

At this point, you will need to find a new place to live. With a hit to your credit score, this makes finding a place to rent difficult. Ideally, it is better if you find a place to rent before the foreclosure is reflected on your credit score. You should be doing your best to protect your credit and build it back up, but even so, you may want to search for rentals that do not require credit checks, such as those rented by a single landlord rather than a company.

You should also anticipate paying a higher security deposit, having a cosigner, and being asked about your foreclosure directly.

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In order to be a homeowner again, you will need to rebuild your credit and recover financially. And this will take time. You can make this happen by paying your remaining bills on time and avoiding incurring new debt .

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What Happens If A Foreclosed Home Doesnt Sell

If a house isnt sold at auction, the property becomes whats known as an REO, or real estate owned property. But dont assume this is a free pass to stay in the home.

If the bank owns the foreclosure, more often than not, they will arrive at the property shortly after the foreclosure date and kick you out, Blake warns. They might offer the previous homeowners cash for keys or relocation assistance, where the bank offers a certain amount of money to the previous homeowners to vacate the premise.

While you cant count on this money, it cant hurt to ask in case this sum helps you move out, and on with your life.

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Get A Preapproval Letter

Unless you can afford to pay cash, youll want a mortgage preapproval letter in hand when you make an offer on a foreclosure. It separates the lookers from the buyers, Soffee says.

Preapproval letters detail how much money you can borrow based on the lenders thorough assessment of your finances, including credit score and income. Its always good to be prepared, Sklar says. Having your proof of funds will make it an easier transaction.

Youll also want to consider what kind of loan to get preapproved for. Foreclosed properties often require repairs or upgrades, and an FHA 203 loan can help. These loans allow buyers to finance up to $35,000 for repairs.

Foreclosures often get scooped up by real estate investors who pay cash. But dont let that discourage you many lenders will help you find the right financing to buy a foreclosed home. Find a mortgage lender who understands your goals.

Do I Owe Money If The House Sells For Less Than I Owe

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In the event that your home sells for less than the balance owed, the lender can file something called a deficiency judgment. This is a lawsuit that requests the borrower pay the remainder of the loan amount. For example, if you owe $300,000 on your mortgage, but the house only sells for $275,000, the deficiency is $25,000. A lender might try to collect the outstanding balance.

Some states, however, have anti-deficiency laws or restrict deficiency judgments after foreclosure.

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Sale Of Foreclosed Property

Most states require mortgagees to sell foreclosed property at public auction. If the property does not sell at auction, the mortgagee keeps it, and later resells it in a normal real estate sale. State laws vary regarding what happens if foreclosed property sells for less than the mortgagor’s unpaid debt. In some states, mortgagors are liable for the difference. In others, they are not. In every state, if the property sells for more than the mortgagor’s unpaid debt, the mortgagor gets the difference.

Differences Between A Typical Real Estate Transaction And The Purchase Of An Reo Property

Negotiating the purchase price of a foreclosed home may take a little longer than a typical real estate transaction because the process may require multiple levels of approval. First, the bank will have to approve the offer. In some cases, an investor may own the property and will have to provide approval as well.

Pricing for a foreclosed home is typically set at market value in an effort to move the property quickly. You will want to submit a fair and reasonable offer, as most banks will list properties at a fair price.

There are several considerations to keep in mind when purchasing an REO Property:

  • Unknown property condition

  • Given that the bank has not maintained or had first-hand knowledge of the foreclosed home prior to acquisition, there may be no record of property repairs or maintenance that would assess the true property condition. As a result, the bank is often unable to verify the condition of the property or complete a Sellers Disclosure.
  • Buyers are allowed and encouraged to complete professional home inspections on the property.

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Bidding On A Home Thats Getting Foreclosed On

There are three ways to bid on a home thats getting foreclosed on:

  • Pre-foreclosure property where the home foreclosure is pending. Youll be negotiating with both the seller and the lender, and sometimes the bank is more motivated to do a deal at this point rather than going through the expense of foreclosing on the property.
  • Public foreclosure auction where youll be competing with other investor-buyers. Most offers in a foreclosure auction will be made in cash, with the property purchased as-is.
  • Bank-owned properties have been foreclosed on but havent yet gone to auction. Some real estate investors consider this the best way to buy a foreclosed home. The bank has a non-productive asset on its balance sheet and your strong offer may convince them to sell the property to you instead of going to auction.
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    Ask For A Mortgage Reinstatement

    How to Find and Buy a Foreclosed Home

    Similar to the repayment plan above, if your financial hardship has passed and you have the means to repay your mortgage normally going forward, you can also ask for mortgage reinstatement. Under mortgage reinstatement, you make a lump-sum payment for all of the payments you missed, and your mortgage will once again be current.

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    What Does Foreclosure Redeemed Mean

    Foreclosure is a legal process that begins when borrowers fail to meet their mortgage payments and other obligations for money they have borrowed. The formal foreclosure process, which includes the filing of a Notice Of Default, is a legal tool used by lenders to recover lending losses by accelerating payment terms of a non-performing mortgage loan.

    Depending on the jurisdiction or state, a foreclosure will be either judicial or nonjudicial. Each state allows for a judicial foreclosure however, not every state offers a nonjudicial option for foreclosure.

    • Judicial Foreclosure is when a lender must seek relief through a judgment issued by the court system.
    • Nonjudicial Foreclosure this is when a lender can seek relief outside the court system using a foreclosure trustee. Nonjudicial foreclosures typically are done in states where a Deed of Trust is used to collateralize the property rather than a mortgage.

    Both types of legal processes offer a bit of time between your notification of the foreclosure and the date of the actual sale.

    When the foreclosing lender engages the legal system, the foreclosure clock begins. This timer will not stop until the subject property has been sold or the foreclosure is redeemed.

    Schedule A Property Inspection

    This should be standard procedure with any home purchase, but it’s particularly important with a foreclosure because. Unlike a traditional home sale, the seller of a foreclosed home is not required to disclose material defects in the property when offering it for sale. Knowing about potentially hidden issues with the property so you can plan to address them before taking occupancy.

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    Redeeming Your Home After Foreclosure

    A lender can initiate the legal process known as foreclosure. The borrower has one final opportunity to stop the foreclosure proceedings and prevent the sale at a public auction the foreclosure redeemed option.

    Most lenders require that the foreclosed home owner provide written notice if they plan to redeem the total amount owed. Next, they must remit the funds to the party officially owning the subject property. State law determines the legal processes for these redemption rights. A qualified attorney is quite helpful in these circumstances.

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    How Will Foreclosure Hurt My Credit Score

    Pros And Cons Of Buying A Foreclosed Home

    A foreclosure is a severely negative credit event, knocking off 100 points or more from your credit score, according to FICO. Additionally, it stays on your credit report for seven years.

    The missed payments prior to the foreclosure will also have a damaging effect on your credit. Because missed payments top the list of negative events, your credit score will suffer before the foreclosure process even begins.

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    Buying A Foreclosed Home: Pros And Cons

    Buying a foreclosed home is a personal decision. It depends on a variety of factors, including your risk tolerance, the propertys potential reward, financing and your ability to move quickly. In many cases youre also benefiting from someone elses misfortune, which can be a deal-breaker for some people. Here are some pros and cons to consider.

    Drive By The Home In Person

    While you might not have the luxury of going inside the home and checking it out in great detail, theres nothing stopping you from driving by the place. At least it will give you the chance to check out the property from the outside, which in itself can give you a good idea of the condition of the property.

    An online listing might be a great way to get introduced to a foreclosure, but it will never give you the full scope of the property. Checking out a listing online only could mean you might miss important aspects of the home, such as the backyard.

    If a property you see online meets your criteria in terms of location, size, and number of bedrooms and bathrooms, then its worth it to visit it in person, if possible.

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    Get Approved For A Repayment Plan

    Unexpected life circumstances happen to everyone, but lenders and servicers are aware of this and will work with you to find a solution before your home has to be foreclosed upon. If you faced financial difficulties for a time that have since resolved themselves, contact your servicer about what options you may have.

    You may be able to get approved for a repayment plan to help make your loan current again. Under these arrangements, borrowers will typically pay a specified amount extra each month until the missed payment balance is satisfied, upon which theyll return to making regular mortgage payments like before.

    Does A Foreclosure Appear On My Credit Report

    Is Buying A Foreclosure A Good Idea?

    Often although not always, the credit report belonging to the foreclosed borrowers will notate the mortgage loan account in a foreclosure redeemed status. This notation may make getting approved for the best loan rates challenging. Sometimes its presence on the credit report may lead to loan declinations.

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    What Happens If My Home Is Foreclosed

    Foreclosure has several implications for your financial health and ability to buy another home.

    • Youll lose your home. Your eviction will be on the lenders terms, unlike alternative solutions that give you more flexibility and control over your transition. The laws of your state determine how much time youll have to stay in your home, but in all cases, the clock starts ticking once ownership transfers.

    • Youll have to wait to get another mortgage. How long youll wait depends on what kind of mortgage you had. Typically, its two years for a U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs loan, three years for Federal Housing Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture loans, and seven years for a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan. However, if you have documented proof that the foreclosure happened because of a qualifying hardship, you might be able to significantly reduce this waiting period.

    • It will hurt your financial profile for a time. A foreclosure stays on your credit report for up to seven years.

    • You might still owe money. If the home sells at auction but the winning bid doesnt cover everything that you owe to the lender, you may still be obligated to pay a balance.

    • Your credit score will take a hit. Your score could drop by over 100 points.

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    Understand That Foreclosed Homes Are Sold In As Is Condition

    In a traditional home sale, homes are typically spruced up and staged to attract the masses of buyers, whh often prefer a home that is in move-in ready condition with minimal work to do.

    Its why buyers include a home inspection contingency in their offers, which gives them a chance to scope out a home in detail to uncover any potential issues with the home that could throw a wrench in the deal.

    Such is not the case with a foreclosure. These properties are sold as is, which is something that buyers must be entirely comfortable with. Its possible for a major issue to be identified after the home has been bought and sold. At that point, the buyer will have to put in the time, effort, and money to fix the problem.

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    What Does It Mean To Redeem The Property

    After a home has been foreclosed, the process of foreclosure eventually concludes with a foreclosure sale. The only way for a borrower or mortgagor to halt active foreclosure proceedings is to take advantage of the process called redemption.

    Any mortgagor who wants to take advantage of this foreclosure avoidance option must settle the mortgage outstanding balance within the statutory rights period. The bad news is if you miss this period defined by the redemption statutes, the property will likely be sold at a foreclosure auction and may become out of reach.

    The good news is that no sale can occur once the mortgagor/borrower exercises his right to redemption. Take note that there may be no available post sale redemption period, so it is important to act quickly and decisively.

    Who Should Buy A Foreclosed Home

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    People who are willing to do significant research before making an offer, and who are willing to deal with lengthy delays and onerous paperwork, could find this a good strategy.

    It very much helps to be able to pay significant cash on short notice for repairs, overdue taxes, and liens.

    Eligibility for one of the federal financing programs such as a 203 loan, HomePath ReadyBuyer, or a HomeSteps mortgage, is a plus. These programs were created to help you buy a home.

    Failing that, an all-cash offer, if possible, can give you a leg up.

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    New Federal Mortgage Servicing Regulations

    The federal government enacted new mortgage servicing laws to ensure that loan servicers provide borrowers with assistance if they fall behind in payments. These laws also protect borrowers from some of the abuses that were prevalent during the foreclosure crisis, like dual tracking.

    Also, the government created the Home Affordable Modification Program in 2009. The HAMP program reduced borrowers’ monthly payments to 31% of their gross monthly income through a modification process.

    While HAMP is no longer available, the Flex Modification program now helps borrowers who have a Fannie Mae- or Freddie Mac-owned loan, and is supposed to reduce an eligible borrower’s mortgage payment by about 20%. Other loss mitigation programs are available for different kinds of loans, like FHA-insured mortgages and VA-guaranteed loans.

    Foreclosure Process Step : Auction

    The home will be sold at a public auction to the highest bidder, who will have to pay the full amount of the bid immediately. This buyer will receive a trustees deed once the sale is complete, at which point he becomes the official owner.

    From there, the homes new owner must serve any remaining occupant of the home with a three-day written notice to quit .

    If the occupant does not move out in the three days, the bidder must go through the formal eviction process in court in order to get possession of the home, Zuetel notes.

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