The process of foreclosure can be rapid or lengthy and varies from state to state. Other options such as refinancing, a short sale, alternate financing, temporary arrangements with the lender, or even bankruptcy may present homeowners with ways to avoid foreclosure. Websites which can connect individual borrowers and homeowners to lenders are increasingly offered as mechanisms to bypass traditional lenders while meeting payment obligations for mortgage providers. Although there are slight differences between the states, the foreclosure process generally follows a timeline beginning with initial missed payments, moving to a sale being scheduled and finally a redemption period (if available).
One noteworthy court case questions the legality of the foreclosure practice is sometimes cited as proof of various claims regarding lending. In the case First National Bank of Montgomery v. Jerome Daly, Jerome Daly claimed that the bank did not offered a legal form of consideration because the money loaned to him was created upon signing of the loan contract. The myth reports that Daly won, did not have to repay the loan, and the bank could not repossess his property. In fact, the "ruling" (widely referred to as the "Credit River Decision") was ruled a nullity by the courts.
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:
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.
Occasionally, borrowers have raised enough cash at the last minute (usually through desperate fire sales of other unencumbered assets) to offer good tender and have thereby preserved their rights to challenge the foreclosure process. Courts have been unsympathetic to attempts by such borrowers to recover fire sale losses from foreclosing lenders.
In United Kingdom, foreclosure is a little-used remedy which vests the property in the mortgagee with the mortgagor having neither the right to any surplus from the sale nor liability for any shortfall. Because this remedy can be harsh, courts almost never allow it especially if a large surplus is likely to be realised, furthermore when a substantial surplus is unlikely to be realised then mortgagees are disinclined to seek foreclosure in the first place since that remedy leaves them no recourse to recover a shortfall. Instead, the courts usually grant an order for possession and an order for sale, which both mitigates some of the harshness of the repossession by allowing the sale while allowing lenders further recourse to recover any balance owing following a sale.
Unlike in the United States, where a foreclosure means the end of the line, the foreclosure hearing in Spain is just the beginning of the homeowner’s troubles. They will have to work for the bank for many years and will be unable to ever own anything—even a car. Spanish mortgage holders are responsible for the full amount of the loan to the bank in addition to penalty interest charges, and court fees. Much of this can be attributed to Spain having the highest unemployment rate in the “euro zone.” Unlike in the US, bankruptcy is not an adequate solution since mortgage debt is specifically excluded. Unlike other European countries, you cannot go to the courts for any sort of debt relief. There has been much contention over these policies in the Spanish Parliament but the government is convinced that keeping these policies will prevent Spanish banks from ever experiencing something similar to the US mayhem. With repossessed real estate properties on their books worth about €100 billion the banks in Spain are eager to get rid of foreclosures.
^ Associated Press. "Sharp Rise in Foreclosures as Banks Move in - Business - Real Estate – Msnbc.com." Msnbc.com - Breaking News, Science and Tech News, World News, US News, Local News- Msnbc.com. NBC News, 13 October 2011. Web. 4 December 2011."Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-12-03. Retrieved 2011-12-06. nbc news, business-real estate; Reviewed 3013-07-20
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