If your home is going into foreclosure and you want to take steps to avoid foreclosure, a deed in lieu of foreclosure is one option that you may consider. While a deed in lieu of foreclosure will not allow you to stay in your house or condo, it can allow you to avoid having a foreclosure on your credit report. With a deed in lieu of foreclosure, you will voluntarily transfer your house over to the bank, as the CFPB explains, and the bank will agree that it will stop taking steps toward foreclosure. In effect, you will walk away from the house, but you will not have to contend with the credit hit of a foreclosure. If you are considering a deed in lieu of foreclosure, you should understand how the process works. Our Oak Park foreclosure defense lawyers can tell you about the steps involved in this process.
Contact the Lender’s Loss Mitigation Department
The process for a deed in lieu of foreclosure typically begins when a homeowner who is at risk of foreclosure contacts the loss mitigation department for the lender and asks for information about a deed in lieu of foreclosure, and an application for this loss mitigation option.
Fill Out the Application
Next, the homeowner will fill out the application, and will typically need to submit a variety of documents to the lender that provide details about the homeowner’s finances, including evidence of the homeowner’s income, tax returns, bank statements, detailed information about income and expenses, and a hardship affidavit. With a hardship affidavit, which is sometimes known as a hardship letter, the homeowner will clarify that they cannot continue to make mortgage payments on the house, and thus that the homeowner is seeking a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
You should know that, in some circumstances, a lender will want to see if it is possible to sell the house before moving forward with a deed in lieu of foreclosure, so you may be required to put the home on the market.
Lender Will Do a Title Search
If your home cannot sell for fair market value, the lender will then do a title search on the property in order to determine whether it can accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure. If you have a second mortgage on the property, a deed in lieu of foreclosure may not be possible unless the same bank is the lender for both your first and your second mortgage. Similarly, if there are any liens on the property, the homeowner will often need to resolve those liens before a deed in lieu of foreclosure can be completed.
Negotiate the Agreement With the Lender
Before you sign over the property, it is important to work with an Oak Park foreclosure defense attorney to negotiate any terms with the bank that can benefit you. Most importantly, you will want to address the issue of a deficiency judgment and whether the bank can file a claim against you to seek the difference between the current market value of the property and the amount of mortgage debt you owe. You will want to make sure the bank cannot pursue a deficiency judgment and that your mortgage debt will be satisfied when you sign over the property.
Sign Over the Property
Finally, you will sign the deed in lieu of foreclosure and transfer the property to the lender.
Contact a Foreclosure Defense Lawyer in Oak Park
If you have questions about avoiding foreclosure, our Oak Park foreclosure defense attorneys can help. Contact the Emerson Law Firm today.
See Related Blog Posts:
Pros and Cons of a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure
How Do I Complete a Short Sale?