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 San Mateo County, 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 make 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 Mateo County, California to find out if this is the case here. This typically 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 forthright with them. One should remember that banks usually don't want to take your house in San Mateo County. 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 prevent you from defaulting.
If you can't reach a solution with your lender, there are other options. You could, for example, try a "short sale," which allows you to sell your house for whatever amount you can get, and use the proceeds to pay your mortgage. If the house sells for less than you owe, the bank will get the proceeds of the sale, and the rest of the debt will be forgiven. There is also the option of a "short refinance," which forgives a substantial portion of your mortgage debt, and refinances the rest.
How Can A San Mateo County, California Attorney Help?
If you are worried about foreclosure, a good San Mateo County, California 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.