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 Washington, Missouri. Foreclosure typically involves a forced sale of the house at auction. Banks typically 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, 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 some states, original mortgages are treated as "non-recourse" loans, meaning that, at most, the lender can take ownership of the house in the event of foreclosure, even if it is worth less than the amount due. The bank cannot go after the debtor for the remaining balance once it sells the house. You should consult a lawyer in Washington, Missouri to find out if this is the case here. This typically does not apply if the mortgage has been refinanced.
How Can I Avoid Foreclosure in Missouri?
First, and most importantly, you should not ignore the issue. Failing to respond to foreclosure calls from your lender will not make a problem go away. You should stay in touch, and be forthright with, your creditor as much as possible. You should remember that banks in Washington 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 forthright with them, lenders will typically try to accommodate your changed financial situation, to avoid a default on your part, and the necessity of foreclosing on their part.
If you can't work anything out with your lender, or have become completely unable to make any mortgage payments, a "short sale" might be a good option. This allows you to sell your house for whatever price it can get, and hand the proceeds over to the lender. If the sale price is less than the balance of the loan, the rest of the debt 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 Washington, Missouri Attorney Help?
If you are faced with the possibility of foreclosure in Washington, Missouri, an attorney might be able to help. At the very least, he or she can advise you of your legal options.