Can I Sell My Home if I'm Behind on my Mortgage?

Can a homeowner sell there home if they are behind on their mortgage?

5 Answers

Of course. The home is your property until it is legally foreclosed (repossessed), as you placed it up as collateral for your loan.

However, the amount you owe on your loan will be paid out of any money you receive from the sale, including any penalty fees for being late on your payments, so if you sell it for less than what you owe you are still going to be responsible for the remaining amount. You aren't going to be allowed to take all of the cash and run without paying off that loan.

Be aware that by missing payments you have hurt your credit and probably will not be able to get another home loan until that is fixed.

It varies from state to state, but if a property is being foreclosed upon, the homeowner call sell up until the time that the court awards the property to the creditor.  In Vermont, for example, a demand for payment in full usually occurs at 90 days past due.  If, after 30 days, the delinquency is not cured, a foreclosure complaint is filed with the courts and a hearing date is set.  Once heard, the complaint is acted upon by the court and if the property is awarded to the creditor to satisfy the debt, the homeowner has 6 months to redeem, or pay off the debt.  Usually, this is accomplished by the sale of the real estate.  If little or no equity exists, it is not likely to satisfy the debt.

You should always communicate with your lender before and during periods of being past due if at all possible.  That can lessen the likelihood of foreclosure. But the short answer is "yes" the homeowners CAN sell their home if they are behind on their mortgage.

The simple answer is Yes!  As long as the property is still your name and hasn't been sold at foreclosure or signed over to anyone, including the bank that holds the mortgage. In some cases the bank will ask for a deed in leiu instead of a lenghty foreclosure process. If this becomes the case then it is up to the bank to sell the property.

Many clients have asked me over the years if they can sell their house after they have received a notice from the bank that they intend on foreclosing,can we still market and sell the house? Yes you can!

Most of the time a they will require all the late fees and attorney fees to be paid. If this is not a viable option(as is the case with many homes these days)then a short sale may be negotiated by a professional short sale company. It is not required that this be done by someone else,but it can be an effective tool to the homeowner to reduce any additional fees associated with the sale.

If you really intend on keeping the home and feel that the only way out would be to sell it,then there are other options for you. You may qaulify for a loan modification and retain the home.This is done by a Loan Modification company.

Yes.  However, if you are in foreclosure you may want to check with the county you live in before you do to see what your redemption rights are because it varies from state to state and in some states it varies from county to county.  Some states like Michigan have a 6-12 month redeption period after the sheriff's sale.  Whereas in Lucas County in Ohio, you're out long before the sale. 

If you are considering a short sale, you need to be extremely patient with your lender and your buyer's lender.  You have to be patient with your lender because your request has to go through the maze of corporate bureaucracy and you have to be patient with your buyer because lenders are tightening up guidelines.   One thing that may help speed up the process with your lender is to hire a company to do a Forensic Mortgage Audit.  These audits look for errors and hidden fraud charges that are illegal and may allow you to rescind your loan.

You should consult a Real Estate Attorney because each State is different but generally speaking yes the home owner can sell his home at anytime up until the day it forecloses and the Lender becomes the owner.  The pay off will usually include the Attorney fee's up to the point of sale.

If the homeowner has a potential buyer he can also contact the Attorney handling the foreclosure and possibly stop the foreclosure procedures or at least put them on hold while a potential buyer obtains financing.  This of course is entirely up to the Lender and Attorney.

The Lender really does not want to foreclose on the property unless he has too.  In today's mortgage climate the Lender would much rather sell the home, lenders do not want the property on their books as  an REO and lose money every month waiting for it to sell.  The Lender then has to pay a Real Estate Broker commission and sometimes even pay marketing expenses.