Foreclosure is the procedure 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 Washington County, Minnesota has consistently failed to make their payments. When a house is foreclosed, it is usually sold at auction shortly thereafter. This is because banks usually want to get rid of the property as soon as possible, even if it means losing some money, and an auction is an simple way to do this.
In all states in the U.S., including Minnesota, 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 good effort to get a reasonable 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 possession of the house in the event of foreclosure, even if it is worth less than the amount due. The bank cannot go after the borrower for the remaining balance once it sells the house. You should consult an attorney in Washington County, Minnesota 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 Minnesota?
First, and most importantly, you should not dismiss the issue. Failing to respond to foreclosure calls from your lender will not make an issue go away. You should stay in touch, and be honest with, your creditor as much as possible. You should remember that banks in Washington County don't want your house. While the foreclosure process can be devastating for the homeowner, it's no walk in the park for the bank, either. They expected to make a profit through interest on the loan paid over time, and foreclosure is a last resort, allowing them to cut their losses and move on. If you are honest with them, lenders will usually try to accommodate your changed financial situation, to avoid a default on your part, and the necessity of foreclosing on their part.
If you believe that foreclosure is imminent, there are some other avenues. For example, you may be able to engage in a "short sale," which sometimes allows you to sell your house for whatever amount you can receive, give the proceeds to the lender, and walk away free of your mortgage debt, even if the sale netted less than the balance of the mortgage. You may 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 County, Minnesota Attorney Help?
If you think foreclosure is imminent, a good Washington County, Minnesota lawyer may be your best hope for staving it off. Even if keeping the house proves impossible, a good attorney can minimize the financial effects.