What is Foreclosure in San Francisco, California?
Foreclosure is the legal process by which the lender in a mortgage arrangement takes possession of the property (usually a house) that secured the loan. This is done when the San Francisco, California debtor has repeatedly failed to make their payments. Foreclosure often requires the house to be sold at auction. Often, banks want to get rid of the property as soon as they can, in order to collect as much money as possible, and move on.
In all states in the U.S., including California, foreclosure by judicial sale is allowed. Under this system, the sale is overseen by a court of law, to ensure that the bank makes a reasonable effort to get a decent price at the auction, and that any proceeds above the balance of the mortgage go back to the borrower. In some states, original mortgages are treated as "non-recourse" loans, meaning that, at most, the lender can take ownership of the house in the event of foreclosure, even if it is worth less than the amount due. The bank cannot go after the debtor for the remaining balance once it sells the house. You should consult a lawyer in San Francisco, California to find out if this is the case here. This usually does not apply if the mortgage has been refinanced.
How Can I Avoid Foreclosure in California?
Most importantly, you must not ignore the problem. Doing so will not make it go away, and will probably make it worse. You should stay in close contact with your bank, and be honest with them. It is critical to remember that the bank does not really want your San Francisco house - they expected to make a profit through the interest on your loan, and that's what they'd prefer to do. Accordingly, they will probably make reasonable accommodations to your financial situation if it means that you will be able to make some form of payment to them.
If you believe that foreclosure is imminent, there are some other options. For example, you might be able to engage in a "short sale," which sometimes allows you to sell your house for whatever amount you can get, give the proceeds to the lender, and walk away free of your mortgage debt, even if the sale netted less than the balance of the mortgage. A "short refinance" might also be an option in some cases. This allows you to have some portion of the debt forgiven, while refinancing the rest.
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How Can A San Francisco, California Attorney Help?
If you are facing the possibility of foreclosure, a good San Francisco, California real estate attorney can help. At the very least, they will be able to inform you of your legal options.
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