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Foreclosure Faq’s

How Fast Can A Foreclosure Happen?

In California a foreclosure can be completed in less than six months from the time the loan becomes delinquent. The mortgage company can record a Notice of Default, the first step in the foreclosure process as soon as the loan is two months delinquent. Typically, the first indication a homeowner gets that a foreclosure has commenced is notification of the Notice of Default. Once the Notice of Default has been recorded, the foreclosure can be completed in less than four months.  However, the time frames estimated here are the quickest allowed by law, and many lenders take much longer than this to foreclose.  An attorney can help you determine how much time you have remaining in your property.

How Can I Stop The Foreclosure?

The simplest way to stop the foreclosure is to bring the loan current. To do that you would need to pay all delinquent amounts as well as the costs and fees incurred by the mortgage company to file and process the foreclosure.  Many borrowers are not able to bring the loan current and are forced to look at other alternatives to avoid foreclosure. Even if you are well into the foreclosure process, most lenders are willing to grant you additional time to remedy the situation if they believe it is reasonably likely they can avoid acquiring your property through foreclosure.  Bankruptcy can also stop a foreclosure immediately.

Can I Just Deed My Property To Someone And Avoid Foreclosure?

Deeding your property to a third party does not eliminate your obligations related to the loan. Unless the mortgage is paid off when you deed the property, you will almost certainly remain as the party primarily responsible for the repayment of the loan. If the lender eventually forecloses, it will be on your credit record.  If you deed your property to a third party you also give up control of the property. It is nearly always a bad idea to simply deed your property to a third party.  Do not deed your property to someone without paying off the loan unless you have consulted with an attorney.

What will a Foreclosure do to my credit?

By almost any measure a completed foreclosure is the most damaging event your credit status can encounter – worse than bankruptcy. A foreclosure on your credit record will negatively impact your ability to borrow money for years.  For most people, it is well worth the time and effort to solve the problem before the foreclosure is done.

What does a Notice of Default mean?

If a Notice of Default has been recorded against your property it means your lender has started the formal foreclosure process. In California, a borrower must be two months delinquent before a lender can commence a foreclosure action by recording a Notice of Default.  A borrower has over three months from the recording of the Notice of Default to work something out with their lender and avoid the completion of the foreclosure.  Once the Notice of Default has been recorded, it is important to act to avoid losing the property and having a foreclosure on your record.

Can I try a Forbearance Agreement to avoid Foreclosure?

Yes, you can and you should look at a Forbearance Agreement as an option to avoid foreclosure. A forbearance agreement is an agreement between a mortgage company and a borrower in which the borrower promises to stay current on the mortgage going forward and agrees to a repayment plan for delinquent payments and costs and fees associated with the foreclosure action. A Forbearance Agreement is a tool that allows the borrower to keep the property. The lender will expect you to show that the delinquency was due to circumstances out of your control (injury, illness, job loss) and that the financial difficulties have been corrected.

Will A Short Sale Stop A Foreclosure?

While the Short Sale itself does not stop the foreclosure, lenders normally work with a homeowner and delay the foreclosure if necessary, if they receive a legitimate Short Sale proposal. The key here is to submit a complete, well organized, Short Sale proposal. The lender does not want your property, and would rather resolve the situation before the foreclosure is complete.

If My Lender Has Started A Foreclosure, Can I Still Sell My Property?

Absolutely, In fact, your lender would rather you sell the property than allow the foreclosure to continue. Your lender does not want to take your property through foreclosure. Even if you have no equity in the property, the lender wants to find a solution. This is precisely why lenders agree to a Short Sale and accept a discounted payoff to fully satisfy the loan. In a Short Sale, the lender in nearly all cases pays all the closing costs – including title fees, escrow fees and the real estate commission.

Should I speak with my lender when they call?

It is best that you not avoid calls or letters from your mortgage company, particularly if a foreclosure is pending. Your mortgage company does not want to take your property through foreclosure. The mortgage company would rather look for options to avoid foreclosure.  When speaking with your mortgage company, be honest about your circumstances and listen for them to possibly suggest options. The mortgage company knows the best way for them to limit losses on a delinquent mortgage is to work with the homeowner.  Be sure to keep notes of all conversations you have with the mortgage company including dates and times of calls, the name of the representative with whom you spoke and the details of the conversation. However, depending on what project you are doing with us, when you hire our law form we will normally step in and speak to the lender on your behalf so that you no longer have to deal with them.

What are the legal instruments that establish a California mortgage?

The documents are known as the deed of trust, note, and in a commercial transaction, a security agreement. Sometimes the mortgage document is combined with the security agreement. Alternatively, a mortgage is filed to evidence the underlying debt and terms of repayment, which is set forth in the note.

Are deficiency judgments permitted in California?

Only in certain circumstances. A deficiency judgment may not be obtained when a property in foreclosure is sold through a non-judicial public sale or if the foreclosure relates to a purchase money mortgage. Different rules apply to guarantors of such loans. Remember that if you have a second mortgage or Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) and it is your first mortgage that forecloses, the non-foreclosing mortgages may retain their right to obtain a deficiency judgment.

What statutes govern California foreclosures?

The laws that govern California foreclosures are found in California Civil Code, Section 2924.


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