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 Washington, Iowa debtor has repeatedly failed to make their payments. When a house is foreclosed, it is typically sold at auction shortly thereafter. This is because banks typically want to get rid of the property as soon as possible, even if it means losing some money, and an auction is an easy way to do this.
In all states in the United States, including Iowa, foreclosure by judicial sale is an option. This allows the sale to be conducted under the supervision of a court, to ensure that the bank makes a good faith effort to get a fair price, and that the proceeds above and beyond the balance of the mortgage (if there are any) go back to the debtor. In some states, original mortgages are "non-recourse loans," meaning that the lender can only recover ownership of the house in the event of default. If the house is now worth less than the balance of the mortgage, the lender has to take the loss. You should speak with a Washington, Iowa lawyer to see if this state is one of them. However, it is almost always the case that this protection does not apply to loans which have been refinanced.
How Can I Avoid Foreclosure in Iowa?
First, and most importantly, you should not ignore the issue. Failing to respond to foreclosure calls from your lender will not make a problem go away. You should stay in touch, and be forthright with, your creditor as much as possible. 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 prevent 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 usually 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 Washington, Iowa Attorney Help?
If you are faced with the possibility of foreclosure in Washington, Iowa, an attorney might be able to help. At the very least, he or she can advise you of your legal options.