What is Foreclosure in Birmingham, Alabama?
Foreclosure is the legal procedure by which the lender in a mortgage arrangement takes possession of the property (typically a house) that secured the loan. This is done when the Birmingham, Alabama debtor has repeatedly failed to make their payments. Foreclosure typically requires the house to be sold at an auction. Typically, banks want to rid themselves of the property as soon as they can, in order to gather as much money as possible.
In all states in the United States, including Alabama, foreclosure by judicial sale is an option. This allows the sale to be done under the supervision of a court, to ensure that the bank makes a good faith effort to get a fair price, and that the proceeds above and beyond the balance of the mortgage (if there are any) go back to the debtor. In some states, original mortgages are "non-recourse loans," meaning that the lender may only recover ownership of the house in the event of default. If the house is now worth less than the balance of the mortgage, the lender has to take the loss. You should speak with a Birmingham, Alabama attorney to see if this state is one of them. However, it is almost always the case that this protection does not apply to loans that have been refinanced.
How Can I Avoid Foreclosure in Alabama?
First and foremost, you should not dismiss the possibility of foreclosure. Failing to respond to collection calls from your lender will not make the problem go away. As unpleasant as this may seem, you should stay in contact with your creditor, and be forthright with them. One should remember that banks usually don't want to take your house in Birmingham. They issued your mortgage expecting to earn a profit on the interest. Taking possession of, and selling, your house is a last resort for them. Therefore, if you are forthright with them about your financial situation, they are likely to make reasonable accommodations to keep you from defaulting.
If no deal can be worked out, or the mortgage payments have become prohibitive, you may consider a "short sale". While the lender has to consent to it, many will take a moderate loss if it means avoiding foreclosure (which lenders usually treat as a last resort). This allows you to sell the house for whatever price it can fetch on the current market, and hand the proceeds over to the bank. If the sale nets less than the balance, some or all of the deficiency may be forgiven. You may also try a "short refinance" which allows a piece of the debt to be forgiven, and the rest refinanced. This allows the bank to wash its hands of the matter, while taking a comparatively small loss, and allows the homeowner to keep their home.
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How Can A Birmingham, Alabama Attorney Help?
If you are facing foreclosure, a good Birmingham, Alabama real estate lawyer can help. While keeping your home might not always be possible, a attorney can increase your odds of success, and help you minimize the negative impact if you do end up losing your home.
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Life in Birmingham
As Alabama's biggest city with over 225,000 people, Birmingham is also the county seat for Jefferson County. The greater metropolitan area of Birmingham is estimated to have a population exceeding 1.25 million.
Founded in 1871, Birmingham has a diversified economy, with an original base of manufacturing other businesses and industries such as banking, transportation, telecommunications, power transmission, education, medical care, and insurance have all risen in importance. Coal mining remains a large business and the trucking industry has grown with the advent of the interstate highway system.
Birmingham, AL is an excellent place for those in the legal profession, with prestigious law schools such as the Birmingham School of Law, Cumberland School of Law and the University of Alabama School of Law located there. The telephone directory lists over 3800 Birmingham lawyers.