Foreclosure is a legal process allowing mortgage lenders to take ownership and/or possession of the debtor's real estate (which was used to secure the loan) in the event of nonpayment in St. Joseph, Missouri. Foreclosure usually involves a forced sale of the house at auction. Banks usually want to rid themselves of ownership of the home as soon as possible, collect as much money as they can, and then move on.
In all states in the U.S., including Missouri, there is an option to go through foreclosure via judicial sale, in which a court oversees the sale, and makes sure that the proceeds first go to the lender, and then to any other entities that might have a lien or other interest in the property (in order of priority), and, finally, to the borrower, 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 St. Joseph, Missouri attorney to see if this state is one of them.
How Can I Avoid Foreclosure in Missouri?
First of all, you shouldn't ignore the problem. You should stay in contact with your bank, and be honest with them. Ignoring the issue will not make it go away. It is necessary to remember that banks don't really want to own homes in St. Joseph. In issuing a mortgage, they expect to make a profit through interest on the loan, and they'd prefer to continue collecting from you. Therefore, they're likely to make reasonable accommodations to your financial situation if it will enable you to keep paying them in the long run.
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 try a "short refinance" which allows a piece of the debt to be forgiven, and the rest refinanced. This allows the bank to wash its hands of the matter, while taking a relatively small loss, and allows the homeowner to keep their home.
How Can A St. Joseph, Missouri Attorney Help?
If you are faced with the possibility of foreclosure in St. Joseph, Missouri, an attorney might be able to help. At the very least, he or she can advise you of your legal options.