Usually a lender obtains a security interest from a borrower who mortgages or pledges an asset like a house to secure the loan. If the borrower defaults and the lender tries to repossess the property, courts of equity can grant the borrower the equitable right of redemption if the borrower repays the debt. While this equitable right exists, it is a cloud on title and the lender cannot be sure that they can repossess the property.[4] Therefore, through the process of foreclosure, the lender seeks to immediately terminate the equitable right of redemption and take both legal and equitable title to the property in fee simple.[5] Other lien holders can also foreclose the owner's right of redemption for other debts, such as for overdue taxes, unpaid contractors' bills or overdue homeowner association dues or assessments.
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.

In 22 states – including Florida, Illinois, and New York – judicial foreclosure is the norm, meaning the lender must go through the courts to get permission to foreclose by proving the borrower is delinquent. If the foreclosure is approved, the local sheriff auctions the property to the highest bidder to try to recoup what the bank is owed, or the bank becomes the owner and sells the property through the traditional route to recoup its loss. The entire judicial foreclosure process, from the borrower's first, missed payment through the lender's sale of the home, usually takes 480 to 700 days, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

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).[citation needed]
Usually a lender obtains a security interest from a borrower who mortgages or pledges an asset like a house to secure the loan. If the borrower defaults and the lender tries to repossess the property, courts of equity can grant the borrower the equitable right of redemption if the borrower repays the debt. While this equitable right exists, it is a cloud on title and the lender cannot be sure that they can repossess the property.[4] Therefore, through the process of foreclosure, the lender seeks to immediately terminate the equitable right of redemption and take both legal and equitable title to the property in fee simple.[5] Other lien holders can also foreclose the owner's right of redemption for other debts, such as for overdue taxes, unpaid contractors' bills or overdue homeowner association dues or assessments.
In 22 states – including Florida, Illinois, and New York – judicial foreclosure is the norm, meaning the lender must go through the courts to get permission to foreclose by proving the borrower is delinquent. If the foreclosure is approved, the local sheriff auctions the property to the highest bidder to try to recoup what the bank is owed, or the bank becomes the owner and sells the property through the traditional route to recoup its loss. The entire judicial foreclosure process, from the borrower's first, missed payment through the lender's sale of the home, usually takes 480 to 700 days, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
China amended the Constitution of the Peoples's Republic of China (adopted April 12, 1988), to allow transfer of land rights, from "granted land rights" to "allocated land rights" thus paving the way for private land ownership, allowing for the renting, leasing, and mortgage of land. The 1990 Regulations on Granting Land Use Rights dealt further with this followed by the Urban Real Estate Law (adopted July 5, 1994),[41] the "Security Law of the People's Republic of China" (adopted June 30, 1995), and then the "Urban Mortgage Measures" (issued May 9, 1997)[42] resulting in land privatization and mortgage lending practices.
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.
^ 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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The impact of foreclosure goes beyond just homeowners but also expands to towns and neighborhoods as a whole. Cities with high foreclosure rates often experience more crime and thefts with abandoned houses being broken into, garbage collecting on lawns, and an increase in prostitution.[36] Foreclosures also impact neighboring housing sales on two levels—space and time. For any given time frame, foreclosures have a greater negative impact when they are closer to the property attempting to be sold. The conventional view suggested is that the increase in foreclosures will cause declines in the sales value of neighboring properties, which, in turn, will lead to an extension of the housing crisis.[37] Another significant impact from increased foreclosure rates is on school mobility of children. In general, research suggests that switching schools is damaging for children, although this does significantly depend on the quality of the origin and destination schools. A study done in New York City revealed that students who changed schools most often entered a school with lower, on average, test scores and overall school performance. The effect of these moves on academic performance for individual students requires further research.[38] Foreclosures also have an emotional and physical effect on people. In one particular study of 250 recruited participants who had experienced foreclosure, 36.7% met screening criteria for major depression.[30]


In 2009, the United States Congress tried to rescue the economy with a $700 billion bailout for the financial industry; however, there was a growing consensus that the deepening collapse of the housing market was at the heart of the country’s acute economic downturn. After spending billions of dollars rescuing financial institutions only to see the economy spiral even deeper into crisis, both liberal and conservative economists and lawmakers pushed to redirect an economic stimulus bill to what they saw as the core problem: the housing market. But beneath the consensus over helping the housing market, there were huge differences over who should benefit under the competing plans. Democrats wanted to aim money directly at people in the greatest distress; and Republicans wanted to aim money at almost all homebuyers, on the theory that a rising tide would eventually lift all boats.[32]
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The mortgage holder can usually initiate foreclosure at a time specified in the mortgage documents, typically some period of time after a default condition occurs. In the United States, Canada and many other countries, several types of foreclosure exist. In the US for example, two of them – namely, by judicial sale and by power of sale – are widely used, but other modes are possible in a few other U.S. states.
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If a property fails to sell at a foreclosure auction or if it otherwise never went through one, lenders — often banks — typically take ownership of the property and may add it to an accumulated portfolio of foreclosed properties, also called real-estate owned (REO). Foreclosed properties are typically easily accessible on banks' websites. Such properties can be attractive to real estate investors because in some cases, banks sell them at a discount to their market value, which of course, in turn negatively affects the lender. (See more on this here: Buying a Foreclosed Home).
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A further rationale is that under the principle of freedom of contract, if debtors wish to enjoy the additional protection of the formalities of judicial foreclosure, it is their burden to find a lender willing to provide a loan secured by a traditional conventional mortgage instead of a deed of trust with a power of sale. Courts have also rejected as frivolous the argument that the mere legislative act of authorizing or regulating the nonjudicial foreclosure process thereby transforms the process itself into state action.[13]
At HousingList we believe home-ownership should be accessible to everyone. We work to spread awareness around alternative, non-traditional routes to home-ownership such as rent-to-own and HUD properties. These alternative paths to owning a home can help people who don't have enough funds saved for today's rising down-payments, people who need to improve their credit scores, or any number of factors that prevent today's buyers from the dream of homeownership.

Depending on the terms of the contract, you may be responsible for maintaining the property and paying for repairs. Usually, this is the landlord's responsibility, so read the fine print of your contract carefully. Because sellers are ultimately responsible for any homeowner association fees, taxes and insurance (it’s still their house, after all), they typically choose to cover these costs. Either way, you’ll need a renter’s insurance policy to cover losses to personal property and provide liability coverage if someone is injured while in the home or if you accidentally injure someone.
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