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 Santa Monica, 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 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 Santa Monica, 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 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 honest with them. You should keep in mind that banks usually don't want to take your Santa Monica 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 you can't work things out with your lender, there are other options. You could 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 gets those proceeds, but the remainder of the loan will be forgiven. You could also consider a "short refinance" which allows a chunk of the debt to be forgiven, and lets you refinance the rest.
How Can A Santa Monica, California Attorney Help?
If you think foreclosure is imminent, a good Santa Monica, California Attorney might be your best hope for staving it off. Even if keeping the house proves impossible, a good Lawyer can minimize the financial effects.