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What is a Foreclosure?

A foreclosure is an action taken against a property owner by seizure of his/her real property. It can be for many reasons. The main cause is delinquent payments on a mortgage. The mortgage company or second and even third mortgage holders contact the owner, then the trustee (usually an attorney) to begin the process. If it is VA guaranteed or FHA insured, many times they offer assistance or alternatives. Then the appraisal is ordered to determine fair market value.

It can also be for medical bills, delinquent taxes and other liens, even credit cards. "The purpose of this foreclosure is for collection of a debt" is usually printed in the legal section of the newspaper as well as some other publications, such as local business papers and law papers.

Many people feel that they can purchase these properties for almost nothing and sometimes that is the case, especially tax sales. If the property is " free and clear" of other liens then it is solely based on the taxes, penalties and interest due. I know of some that have sold for less than a few thousand dollars.

The owner has the right to cure the default right up to the very last minute before the sale. A pay off statement is prepared including the delinquent payments, trustee fees (usually 5 % of the remaining balance of the loan), processing fees, property inspections, appraisal and any other thing the mortgage company can think of. The problem is not only coming up with the funds but knowing what charges are and if they are legitimate. I have only heard of lawyers and accountants challenging mortgage companies on over or false charges. Please rate and tell friends.

Suzie has been in the business twenty years as a licensed real estate agent, broker and certified residential appraiser who majored in real estate and architecture. She hopes to improve the industry one step and one person at a time. Other professionals in the same fields as well as educators have contibuted.

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