When the entity (in the US, typically a county sheriff or designee) auctions a foreclosed property the noteholder may set the starting price as the remaining balance on the mortgage loan. However, there are a number of issues that affect how pricing for properties is considered, including bankruptcy rulings. In a weak market, the foreclosing party may set the starting price at a lower amount if it believes the real estate securing the loan is worth less than the remaining principal of the loan. Time from notice of foreclosures to actual property sales depends on many factors, such as the method of foreclosure (judicial or non-judicial).
Rent-to-own agreements should specify when and how the home’s purchase price is determined. In some cases, you and the seller will agree on a purchase price when the contract is signed – often at a higher price than the current market value. In other situations, the price is determined when the lease expires, based on the property's then-current market value. Many buyers prefer to “lock in” the purchase price, especially in markets where home prices are trending up.
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Both mortgage (re)possession and foreclosure are quite similar, with the main differences being the treatment of any funds that exceed the amount borrowed and liability for any shortfall. In the case of mortgage possession or repossession, if the home is sold or auctioned for a price that exceeds the loan balance, those funds are returned to the consumer. If the proceeds from a mortgage possession are insufficient to cover the loan then the debtor remains liable for the balance, although in most cases this will become an unsecured debt and the mortgage company will be treated on an equitable basis with the debtor's other unsecured creditors (particularly if the debtor simultaneously or subsequently becomes bankrupt or enters into a voluntary arrangement with creditors). By contrast, in the case of foreclosure the mortgage company retains all rights to proceeds from a sale or auction but the debtor is not liable for any shortfall.
As per the foreclosure data report of RealtyTrac for January 2014, 1 in every 1,058 homes in U.S received a foreclosure filing. This figure falls in the higher spectrum of foreclosure frequency. As of August 2014, the foreclosure rate was 33.7%, 1.7% up from the last year. The rise in foreclosure activity has been most significant in New York and New Jersey, the two most densely populated areas in U.S. Closely following them is Florida.[35]
There are exceptions to this rule. If the mortgage is a non-recourse debt (which is often the case with owner-occupied residential mortgages in the U.S.), lender may not go after borrower's assets to recoup his losses. Lender's ability to pursue deficiency judgment may be restricted by state laws. In California and some other US states, original mortgages (the ones taken out at the time of purchase) are typically non-recourse loans; however, refinanced loans and home equity lines of credit are not.

Acceleration is a clause that is usually found in Sections 16, 17, or 18 of a typical mortgage in the US. Not all accelerations are the same for each mortgage, as it depends on the terms and conditions between lender and obligated mortgagor(s). When a term in the mortgage has been broken, the acceleration clause goes into effect. It can declare the entire payable debt to the lender if the borrower(s) were to transfer the title at a future date to a purchaser. The clause in the mortgage also instructs that a notice of acceleration must be served to the obligated mortgagor(s) who signed the Note. Each mortgage gives a time period for the debtor(s) to cure their loan. The most common time periods allot to debtor(s) is usually 30 days, but for commercial property it can be 10 days. The notice of acceleration is called a Demand and/or Breach Letter. In the letter it informs the Borrower(s) that they have 10 or 30 days from the date on the letter to reinstate their loan. Demand/Breach letters are sent out by Certified and Regular mail to all notable addresses of the Borrower(s). Also in the acceleration of the mortgage the lender must provide a payoff quote that is estimated 30 days from the date of the letter. This letter is called an FDCPA (Fair Debt Collections Practices Acts) letter and/or Initial Communication Letter. Once the Borrower(s) receives the two letters providing a time period to reinstate or pay off their loan the lender must wait until that time expires in to take further action. When the 10 or 30 days have passed that means that the acceleration has expired and the Lender can move forward with foreclosing on the property.
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.
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