Once you fully understand all the terms of the rent-to-own agreement -- and have had an attorney look it over and provide feedback -- it’s time to finalize the deal. Of course, signatures from both parties will be required at this time, as well as upfront payments such as the agreed-upon “option fee,” the monetary consideration that is necessary to make the rent-to-own contract binding.
The foreclosure process as applied to residential mortgage loans is a bank or other secured creditor selling or repossessing a parcel of real property after the owner has failed to comply with an agreement between the lender and borrower called a "mortgage" or "deed of trust". Commonly, the violation of the mortgage is a default in payment of a promissory note, secured by a lien on the property. When the process is complete, the lender can sell the property and keep the proceeds to pay off its mortgage and any legal costs, and it is typically said that "the lender has foreclosed its mortgage or lien". If the promissory note was made with a recourse clause and if the sale does not bring enough to pay the existing balance of principal and fees, then the mortgagee can file a claim for a deficiency judgment. In many states in the United States, items included to calculate the amount of a deficiency judgment include the loan principal, accrued interest and attorney fees less the amount the lender bid at the foreclosure sale.
There are two modes of foreclosure in the Philippines. A mortgagee may foreclose either judicially or extrajudicially, as governed by Rule 68 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure and Act. No. 3135, respectively. A judicial foreclosure is done by filing a complaint in the Regional Trial Court of the place where the property is located. The judge renders judgment, ordering the mortgagor to pay the debt within a period of 90–120 days. If the debt is not paid within the said period, a foreclosure sale satisfies the judgment. In an extrajudicial foreclosure, the mortgagee need not initiate an action in court but may simply file an application before the Clerk of Court to secure attendance of the Sheriff who conducts the public sale. This is done pursuant to a power of sale. Note that these two modes specifically apply to real estate mortgages. Foreclosure of chattel mortgages (mortgage of movable property) are governed by Sec. 14 of Act No. 1506, which gives the mortgagee the right to sell the chattel at a public sale. It has also been held that as regards chattel mortgages, the law does not prohibit that the foreclosure sale be done privately if it is agreed upon by the parties.
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In 2010, there was a 14% increase in the number of homes receiving a default notice between July and September. In that year one in every 45 homes received a foreclosure filing and the problem has become more widespread with the increasing rates of unemployment across the nation. Banks have become extremely aggressive without much patience for those who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments, and there are more families entering the foreclosure process sooner than ever. In 2011, banks were on track to repossess over 800,000 homes. In 2010, the highest rates of foreclosure filings were in Las Vegas, Nevada; Fort Myers, Florida; Modesto, California; Scottsdale, Arizona; Miami, Florida; and Ontario, California. The geographic diversity of these cities is made up for by the fact they these are all relatively metropolitan areas. Big cities like Houston, Texas saw a 26% increase in 2010, 23% in Seattle, Washington and 21% in Atlanta, Georgia. These cities had the lowest rates of unemployment. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the cities with the lowest rates of foreclosure were Rome, NY; South Burlington, VT; Charleston, WV; Bryan, TX; and Tuscaloosa, AL. Not surprisingly, these areas had some of the highest nationwide rates of unemployment, helping to further demonstrate this correlation. A quote from RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio summarizes the recent trends:
A rent-to-own agreement can be an excellent option if you’re an aspiring homeowner but aren’t quite ready, financially speaking. These agreements give you the chance to get your finances in order, improve your credit score and save money for a down payment while “locking in” the house you’d like to own. If the option money and/or a percentage of the rent goes toward the purchase price – which they often do – you also get to build some equity.
The vast majority (but not all) of mortgages today have acceleration clauses. The holder of a mortgage without this clause has only two options: either to wait until all of the payments come due or convince a court to compel a sale of some parts of the property in lieu of the past due payments. Alternatively, the court may order the property sold subject to the mortgage, with the proceeds from the sale going to the payments owed the mortgage holder.
As the end of the rent-to-own contract nears, it’s a smart idea to address any minor problems that the home inspection turned up. It’s also a good idea to make small cosmetic improvements and upgrades as needed, if possible, to help increase the value of the home prior to applying for a mortgage loan. It’s called sweat equity … and it can make a big difference when it’s time to negotiate favorable mortgage loan terms.