Foreclosure is the legal procedure 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 Washington, District of Columbia debtor has repeatedly failed to make their payments. Foreclosure typically results in the property being sold in an auction. Banks typically want to get rid of the property as soon as possible, even if it means taking a financial hit, and an auction is the simplest way to do this.
In all states in the U.S., including District of Columbia, there is an option to go through foreclosure via judicial sale, in which a court supervises the sale, and makes sure that the proceeds first go to the lender, and then to any other entities that may have a lien or other interest in the property (in order of priority), and, finally, to the borrower, if anything is left. In many states, original mortgages are considered non-recourse loans, meaning that if the house is foreclosed and sold for less than the borrower owes, the bank cannot go after the debtor for the remainder. You should consult with an lawyer in Washington, District of Columbia 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 District of Columbia?
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 forthright with them. One should remember that banks usually don't want to take your house in Washington. 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 keep you from defaulting.
If you can't reach a solution with your lender, there are other options. You can, 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 receive 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 Washington, District of Columbia Attorney Help?
If you are facing foreclosure, a good Washington, District of Columbia real estate lawyer can help. While keeping your home might not always be possible, an attorney can increase your odds of success, and help you minimize the negative impact if you do end up losing your home.