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 Clayton, Missouri has repeatedly failed to make their payments. When a house is foreclosed, it is normally sold at auction shortly thereafter. This is because banks normally 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 U.S., including Missouri, 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 reasonable effort to get a decent price at the auction, and that any proceeds above the balance of the mortgage go back to the borrower. In many states, original mortgages (as opposed to refinanced loans) are "non-recourse" loans, meaning that the most the lender can collect is whatever the foreclosed property sells for. The bank cannot go after the borrower for the balance, if the sale nets less than the amount due. You should consult a lawyer in Clayton, Missouri to learn the details of the law here. You should also know that this rarely applies to loans which have been refinanced.

How Can I Avoid Foreclosure in Missouri?

First and foremost, you should not ignore the possibility of foreclosure. Failing to respond to collection calls from your lender will not make the problem go away. As unpleasant as this might seem, you should stay in contact with your creditor, and be straightforward with them. You should keep in mind that banks normally don't want to take your Clayton 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 you can't work things out with your lender, there are other options. You could try a "short sale," which is when you sell your house for whatever amount you can get for it, and use the proceeds to pay your mortgage. If the house sells for less than you owe, the bank still gets those proceeds, but the remainder of the loan will 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 Clayton, Missouri Attorney Help?

If you think foreclosure is imminent, a good Clayton, Missouri attorney might be your best hope for staving it off. Even if keeping the house proves impossible, a good lawyer can minimize the financial effects.