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 Westport, 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 many states, mortgages which have not been refinanced are "non-recourse loans." This means that, in the event of default, the bank can take ownership of the house and sell it; but if the sale price happens to be less than the balance of the mortgage, the lender cannot go after the borrower for the remainder. Because of this, some people have found that their best option is to simply walk away from the home if the mortgage is more than the house is worth. You should talk with a Westport, Massachusetts attorney to see if this state is one of them.
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 Westport 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 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 Westport, Massachusetts Attorney Help?
If you are facing foreclosure, a good Westport, Massachusetts real estate attorney can help. While keeping your home might not always be possible, a lawyer can increase your odds of success, and help you minimize the negative impact if you do end up losing your home.