Foreclosure is the legal procedure 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 Santa Maria, 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 forward.

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 good effort to get a reasonable 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 possession of the house in the event of foreclosure, even if it is worth less than the amount due. The bank cannot go after the borrower for the remaining balance once it sells the house. You should consult an attorney in Santa Maria, 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 dismiss 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. You should keep in mind that banks usually don't want to take your Santa Maria 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 prevent you from defaulting.

If you can't work things out with your lender, there are other avenues. You can try a "short sale," which is when you sell your house for whatever amount you can get for it, and use the proceeds to pay your mortgage. If the house sells for less than you owe, the bank still receives those proceeds, but the remainder of the loan will be forgiven. You could also consider a "short refinance" which allows a part of the debt to be forgiven, and lets you refinance the rest.

How Can A Santa Maria, California Attorney Help?

If you are worried about foreclosure, a good Santa Maria, California real estate attorney may be able to help. An attorney can increase your chances of keeping your home, and help minimize the financial impact if keeping it proves impossible.