Frequently Asked Foreclosure Questions
Do you have a few questions regarding Foreclosure? Most people do. So here’s a quick collection of some of the questions people ask us… along with our answers. If you still have a questions on How to Stop Foreclosure, don’t hesitate to contact us (or give us a call) and we’ll be happy to answer it for you.
What is foreclosure?
Foreclosure is the legal means that your lender can use to repossess (take over) your home. When this happens, you must move out of your house. If your property is worth less than the total amount you owe on your mortgage loan, a deficiency judgment could be pursued. If that happens, you not only lose your home, you also would owe your lender an additional amount. Both foreclosures and deficiency judgments could seriously affect your ability to qualify for credit in the future. So you should avoid foreclosure if possible.
I am receiving letters from my lender regarding missed mortgage payments. What should I do?
DO NOT IGNORE THE LETTERS FROM YOUR LENDER. If you are having problems making your payments, call or write to your lender’s loss mitigation department as soon as possible and explain your situation. Be prepared to provide them with financial information, such as your monthly income and expenses. Without this information, they may not be able to help.
Are there any free housing counseling services available to homeowners who are struggling to stay in their homes?
Yes. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) web site provides a directory of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies. You can also call (800) 569-4287 FREE or TDD (800) 877-8339 FREE for the housing counseling agency nearest you, providing information on services and programs offered by government agencies, as well as private and community organizations that could help you. The housing counseling agency may also offer credit counseling. These services are usually free of charge.
Are there any alternatives to foreclosure?
Yes. You may qualify for a number of alternatives to the foreclosure process, including special forbearance, in which your lender may be able to arrange a repayment plan based on your financial situation, and may even provide for a temporary reduction or suspension of your payments. Other foreclosure alternatives include mortgage modification and a “deed-in-lieu” of foreclosure. Learn more about Alternatives to Foreclosure.
What constitutes a breach or a default?
A breach exists when the borrower fails to make the payments of principal and interest when due pursuant to the note secured by deed of trust. If the balance of the note is due, the breach would be the failure to make the principal payment due plus interest, by the maturity date. Most deeds of trust have provisions for default being declared when a senior lien, insurance, taxes and assessments have not been paid, or if the property is transferred without the lenders approval.
If I have a Second Mortgage on My House can they Initiate a Foreclosure Proceeding?
Yes, any Lender may initiate a foreclose if you are more than 90 days behind in payments.
Does the Lender need your permission to foreclose?
No. You already gave your permission; when you signed the note and deed of trust.
I’m not behind on my mortgage payments yet, but worry that I will be soon. What should I do?
Contact your mortgage company as soon as you can—even if you haven’t missed a payment but think you might in the near future. Find contact information for your mortgage company in your mortgage coupon book or monthly mortgage statement.
If I’m delinquent with my mortgage payments, what options do I have?
Your mortgage company or a Fannie Mae Mortgage Help Network partner can help you understand the specific options available to you, which could include a short-term solution to help you get back on your feet or a long-term solution to modify the terms of your mortgage. Be sure to review possible options here so you can have an informed discussion with your mortgage company.
I am facing foreclosure. What are my options to save my home?
The sooner you call your mortgage company, the more options that may be available to help you avoid foreclosure. Be sure to make a list of questions so you can have an informed discussion with your mortgage company. Contact information is on your monthly mortgage statement or coupon book. If you are unable to reach your mortgage company or prefer speaking with a foreclosure specialist call us at 209-481-7780.
My house has been foreclosed. Is there anything I can do to get it back?
If your home has already been foreclosed and transferred to your Mortgage Company or the new owner if it was sold at Auction, your ability to regain your home may vary depending on the state in which your home is located. If you have been contacted by an eviction attorney, please reach out to the attorney as soon as possible to let them know you wish to regain your home. Otherwise, if the property has been listed for sale, contact the real estate agent who is handling the listing. If you are unable to contact the eviction attorney or listing agent, contact a an Attorney.
If my foreclosed home sells for less than what I owe, will I owe my mortgage company the balance?
Your mortgage company may require you to pay the difference between what your foreclosed home sold for and what you owe on it. (This amount is sometimes referred to as a deficiency. Although for properties located in some states, the law restricts or does not allow the mortgage company to maintain an action against you for a deficiency.) That’s why it’s important to begin working with your mortgage company before the property reaches foreclosure. By doing so, you may have other options available to you, such as a Short Sale or a Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure, which may be able to help you avoid foreclosure and resolve/settle your mortgage delinquency.
Do I get any money back if my foreclosed home sells for more than what I owe?
You would only get money back if the property is sold at a foreclosure sale where the purchaser is a third party (that is, a party other than the mortgage company) and the purchaser bids more than is required to pay your indebtedness in full (as well as paying off any other liens, such as judgment liens and a second mortgage). If your mortgage company acquires the property during the foreclosure sale, any gain from a later sale would go to the mortgage company.
How long do I have before I have to vacate my foreclosed home?
If you are foreclosed upon, your rights to occupy the property will be governed by local and state law, but your lender will likely start eviction proceedings quickly. Always check with your mortgage company on any options that may be available, such as the potential to lease the home or relocation assistance.
Is it best to walk away from my property if I can no longer make the payments?
No. There are options available that may help you avoid foreclosure, so walking away from your property is not a good choice. If you are no longer able to afford your mortgage and would like to leave, you may be eligible for a Short Sale or a Mortgage Release (Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure). Or you may be able to lease the property for a period of time with the Mortgage Release program. If you abandon your property, you may not qualify for assistance and you will not be able to get a new mortgage to purchase another home for at least 7 years.
How long will a foreclosure stay on my credit report?
Foreclosures are very damaging to your credit and may impact your credit rating for as long as seven to ten years. A foreclosure can make it difficult to get a loan for a future home purchase or college expenses, get a major credit card, or it may even potentially affect future employment (many employers screen for credit as a part of a background check). In addition, when you are able to get credit, your interest rates will likely be higher.
Will you be listing my house on the MLS or actually buying it?
We’re not agents, and we don’t list houses. We are professional home buyers: we buy houses that meet our purchasing criteria. From there we may repair the house and resell it to another home owner or keep it as a rental ourselves.
Do you pay fair prices for properties?
Many of the houses we purchase are below market value (we do this so we can resell it at a profit to another home owner). We are looking to get a fair discount on a property. However, in our experience, many sellers aren’t necessarily expecting a large “windfall” on the property but rather appreciate that we can offer cash, we close very quickly (no waiting for financing), and no time or effort or expense is required on your part of fix up the property or pay agent fees. If that’s what you’re looking for and you see the value in getting your house sold fast… let’s see if we can come to a fair win-win price. (Besides, our no-obligation pricing commitment means that you do not have to move forward with the offer we give… but it’s good to know what we’re offering!)
[DOWNLOAD our free guide that walks you through the Pros and Cons (plus the cost and timeline) of selling your house to a real estate investor… plus learn the pros, cons, and costs of the other two alternatives… listing with an agent or selling it yourself. Head on over here download your free guide <<]
How do you determine the price to offer on my house?
We’re an open book: Our process is very straightforward. We look at the location of the property, what repairs are needed, the current condition of the property, and values of comparable houses sold in the area recently. As you know, house values have taken a huge hit in the last 5 years and most areas still haven’t seen prices come back up. We take many pieces of information into consideration… and come up with a fair price that works for us and works for you too.
Are there any fees or commissions to work with you?
This is what makes us stand out from the traditional method of selling your house: There are NO fees or commissions when you sell your house us. We’ll make you an offer, and if it’s a fit then we’ll buy your house (and we’ll often pay for the closing costs too!). No hassle. No fees. We make our money after we pay for repairs on the house (if any) and sell it for a profit (we’re taking all of the risk here on whether we can sell it for a profit or not, once we buy the house from you… the responsibility is ours and you walk away without the burden of the property and it’s payments… and oftentimes with cash in your hand).
How are you different from a real estate agent?
Real estate agents list properties and hope that someone will buy them. The agent shows the properties to prospective buyers if there are any (the average time to sell a property in many markets right now is 6-12 months) and then take a percentage of the sale price if they find a buyer. Oftentimes, the agent’s commission is 3-6% of the sale price of your house (so if it’s a $100,000 house, you’ll pay between $3,000 – $6,000 in commissions to an agent). Agents provide a great service for those that can wait 6-12 months to sell and who don’t mind giving up some of that sale price to pay for the commissions. But that’s where we’re different: We’re not agents, we’re home buyers. Our company actually buys houses. We don’t list houses. Since we’re actually the one buying the house from you, and we pay with all cash… we can make a decision to buy your house within a couple days (sometimes the same day). Again, we make our living by taking the risk to buy the house with our own cash, repair the house, and market it ourselves to find a buyer (which is the hard part in this market).
Is there any obligation when I submit my info?
There is absolutely zero obligation for you. Once you tell us a bit about your property, we’ll take a look at things, maybe set up a call with you to find out a bit more, and make you an all-cash offer that’s fair for you and fair for us. From there, it’s 100% your decision on whether or not you’d like to sell your house to us… and we won’t hassle you, won’t harass you… it’s 100% your decision and we’ll let you decide what’s right for you.
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5 Ways To Stop or Avoid Foreclosure In Today’s Market – FREE Guide:
Need more information on the foreclosure process and How To Stop Foreclosure? Download our FREE Stop Foreclosure Guide here. Or, you can always feel free to Contact us anytime if you have questions, want a no hassle Situation Evaluation, or want to just learn more about how we can help homeowners avoid foreclosure or sell unwanted properties for cash.