Foreclosure is the process through which the lender in a mortgage takes ownership and/or possession of the property that secured the original loan. This happens when a debtor in Barnstable, Massachusetts has repeatedly failed to make their payments. Foreclosure usually results in the property being sold in an auction. Banks usually want to get rid of the property as soon as possible, even if it means taking a financial hit, and an auction is the easiest way to do this.
In every state, including Massachusetts, there is an option to go through foreclosure by a judicial sale, which is a procedure in which a court supervises the sale of the property, and makes sure that the proceeds first go the to the holder of the mortgage, then to anyone else who may have a lien on the property, and finally to the debtor if anything is left. 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 Barnstable, Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts?
First, you should never ignore the matter. As unpleasant as it seems, it is essential to stay on top of the issue. Ignoring the problem will never make it go away. You should keep in mind that banks usually don't want to take your Barnstable 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 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 generally 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 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 Barnstable, Massachusetts Attorney Help?
If you are worried about foreclosure, a good Barnstable, Massachusetts 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.