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 Columbia, Missouri 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 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 Columbia, 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 forthright with them. You should keep in mind that banks typically don't want to take your Columbia 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 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. There is also the option of a "short refinance," which forgives a substantial portion of your mortgage debt, and refinances the rest.

How Can A Columbia, Missouri Attorney Help?

If you are facing foreclosure, a good Columbia, Missouri 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.