What’s the first thing you should do if your property’s going to go into foreclosure? Well, the first thing that I suggest you do is contact an attorney who specializes in foreclosure defense. He should be able to tell you the foreclosure process and tell you what your potential liability is for the bank coming after your other assets. Also, he can give you some idea as to how long it will take the bank to foreclose on your property, give you some kind of timeline.
You also have various options, one of which is to try and do a mortgage modification, which many people try and do before they ever contact an attorney and come in very, very frustrated. But my suggestion to you is to continue to send to the lender your financial information in order to try and do a mortgage modification. I will say that the lenders have not, in my experience, reduced your principal amount. What they try and do if they do a modification is to reduce the amount of your monthly payment rather than your principal balance. Depending on who your lender is and who the owner of your loan is, you may or may not be successful.
One of the other options is a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Chase Bank does have a program – it’s called Cash for Keys – where they may agree to give you relocation money if you deed your property over to them rather than them having to go through a foreclosure action. That program was available several months ago. I haven’t seen too much activity lately, but I know that Chase did have that program. It’s a problem if you have a second mortgage because you have to be able to transfer your property to them without a second mortgage.
The other process or option you have, which the banks really encourage, is to do a short sale, meaning that you sell the property to someone for less than the amount of money that is owed and then negotiate with the lender as to whether or not they’ll approve the sale and agree to release you from any responsibility for the remaining money that’s owed under your loan. The problem with a short sale is, you need to have some place to move once you sell your property because when you sell it – well, you no longer have a house. And so, that is something you must consider.
So, I suggest you contact a knowledgeable foreclosure defense lawyer and he will explain your various options, what your timeline is and even answer your questions as to whether or not bankruptcy is an option. If you have any more questions, give me a call and I’ll be glad to try and answer them for you. The number is (727) 847-2288.