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 Prattville, Alabama debtor has repeatedly failed to make their payments. Foreclosure usually requires the house to be sold at an auction. Usually, 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 Prattville, Alabama to see if this is the case. However, this usually doesn't apply if the mortgage has been refinanced.
How Can I Avoid Foreclosure in Alabama?
First, you should never ignore the matter. As unpleasant as it seems, it is essential to stay on top of the issue. Ignoring the problem will never make it go away. You should keep in mind that banks usually don't want to take your Prattville home. They aren't in the real estate business, and expect to make money through interest on the loan, not by selling your house. If you are up-front with them early on, they will probably make a reasonable effort to accommodate your financial system if it will keep you from defaulting.
If no deal can be worked out, or the mortgage payments have become prohibitive, you might 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 generally 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 might be forgiven. You might also consider a "short refinance" which allows a portion of the debt to be forgiven, while refinancing the rest, hopefully under better terms.
How Can A Prattville, Alabama Attorney Help?
If you are worried about foreclosure, a good Prattville, Alabama real estate lawyer might be able to help. A lawyer can increase your chances of keeping your home, and help minimize the financial impact if keeping it proves impossible.