Foreclosure is the legal process 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 Opelika, 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 collect as much money as possible.
In all states in the U.S., including Alabama, 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 many states, original mortgages are considered non-recourse loans, meaning that if the house is foreclosed and sold for less than the debtor owes, the bank cannot go after the debtor for the remainder. You should consult with an attorney in Opelika, Alabama to see if this is the case. However, this typically doesn't apply if the mortgage has been refinanced.
How Can I Avoid Foreclosure in Alabama?
First and foremost, you should not ignore the possibility of foreclosure. Failing to respond to collection calls from your lender will not make the problem go away. As unpleasant as this might seem, you should stay in contact with your creditor, and be forthright with them. You should remember that banks in Opelika don't want your house. While the foreclosure process can be devastating for the homeowner, it's no walk in the park for the bank, either. They expected to make a profit through interest on the loan paid over time, and foreclosure is a last resort, allowing them to cut their losses and move on. If you are forthright with them, lenders will typically try to accommodate your changed financial situation, to avoid a default on your part, and the necessity of foreclosing on their part.
If you can't work anything out with your lender, or have become completely unable to make any mortgage payments, a "short sale" might be a good option. This allows you to sell your house for whatever price it can get, and hand the proceeds over to the lender. If the sale price is less than the balance of the loan, the rest of the debt might be forgiven. You might also consider a "short refinance" which allows a chunk of the debt to be forgiven, and lets you refinance the rest.
How Can A Opelika, Alabama Attorney Help?
If you are faced with the possibility of foreclosure in Opelika, Alabama, an attorney might be able to help. At the very least, he or she can advise you of your legal options.