7 State Foreclosure Issues For Real Estate Investors

Understanding State Foreclosure Issues

Are you seriously thinking about buying a property that's facing foreclosure? In that case, you should do some research about state-specific laws or regulations that pertain to foreclosures in your region. It is okay to buy a property that is facing foreclosure, but before you do this, you should become more familiar about regulations or laws that cover foreclosures in your locality.

Understand the fact that foreclosure laws do vary from state to state, which means that what applies in one place may not apply in another. Through the information below, you will understand state-specific foreclosure laws better, particularly if you are considering buying a property in Florida, Georgia, or Hawaii. Learn more about these 7 state-specific foreclosure issues.

1Titles And Buyers

The person or company who buys a certain property will only receive a certificate of sale while waiting for the court confirmation. Afterward, the buyer can then start processing the title as soon as the certificate of title is filed. Lenders in Florida may sue to obtain a deficiency judgment. In case a borrower halts the foreclose process by filing bankruptcy, the state of Florida will grant half an acre of the homestead exemption, in case the property is in a municipality, or 160 acres if the property is located in another area within the state.

Those who possess the right to claim exemptions include children of deceased property owners, as well as the spouses of owners. Borrowers are also allowed to file a homestead declaration. It is also possible for properties in tenancy to be exempted from debts brought about by only one spouse. As for lenders in Georgia, they can foreclose a deed of trust or a mortgage through either a judicial or a nonjudicial foreclosure procedure.

2Georgia's Judicial Foreclosure Processes

In case the deed of trust or the mortgage does not include a power-of-sale clause, the judicial foreclosure process is used. Usually, when the court calls for a foreclosure, the property will be auctioned off, and the highest bidder will win. In case there is a power-of-sale clause, what takes place is a nonjudicial foreclosure.

This is how this kind of process usually works. First, the borrower must get a certified letter via mail, and he must request for a return receipt for that letter; this should be done not later than fifteen days before the scheduled start of foreclosure proceedings. The letter must then be sent to the lender using the address specified by the borrower. The details in the notice must be advertised in local newspapers with wide circulation for four succeeding weeks until the scheduled sale, and the event must also be done in the same region or county where the property is located.

3Foreclosure Sales In Georgia

In general, courthouses carry out foreclosure sales between ten in the morning to four in the afternoon during the first Tuesdays of each month. In the state of Georgia, lenders are also allowed to obtain deficiency judgments. Georgia laws also allow homestead exemptions of up to $10,000 particularly if a borrower attempts to stop a foreclosure by filing bankruptcy. In case a foreclosure was ordered by the court, the property goes to auction, and the highest bidder is going to be the new owner. In case there is a power-of-sale condition, a nonjudicial foreclosure normally applies.

4How Does Nonjudicial Foreclosure Work?

A nonjudicial foreclosure procedure typically follows a certain pattern. The first step involves the filing of the notice of intent by the lender. This notice should be published in well-known local papers once a week for three weeks. Copies of the notice must also be delivered via mail or in person to the following: the homeowner, the lender, past or current creditors, and the state's tax office. It is also required for the notice to be posted at the site for not less than 21 days before the scheduled sale.

The notice must contain the following details: time, date, place where the sale will be held, dates of scheduled open houses regarding the property, or an explanation as to why there will be no open houses (if there aren't any). The notice also should state how much money is still owed to the mortgage. There should also be a physical description of the property. The names of the borrower, lender, and mortgagor must be in the notice, as well. Junior creditors and other individuals who have liens on the property must also be identified on the notice.

5What Information Must Be Recorded?

Certain information must be properly recorded and should include conditions that have been specified about a sale, as well as the contact details of the individual who'll be directing the sale. Borrowers also have until the third day before the property sale to come up with the money to get their loan back on track. But, there could still be other monetary charges that a borrower should pay aside from the actual loan. Once a particular property is on the auction block, it will go to the highest bidder. In some states, they have a process called "the right of redemption;" Hawaii does not have this policy.

6Homestead Exemption Laws

A homestead exemption of up to $35,000 is allowed in the state of Hawaii in case bankruptcy is filed to prevent foreclosure, and this exemption is afforded to the head of the house who should be 65 years old or above. The rest will be allowed a homestead exemption of $20,000. Properties that have been leased or those held as tenancies could also be exempt in case of a single-spouse debt.

In Idaho, lenders use the nonjudicial foreclosure process when they foreclose deeds of trust that are in default. In this state, it's also essential for the sales notice to be recorded in the county or area where it is located. Copies of the notice should be given to the borrower as well as the residents of the property, in case they are not the borrowers 120 days before the scheduled sale. Moreover, the notice must be published in local county papers once a week for one month. The final ad must appear in the papers at least 30 days before the foreclosure.

7Publishing The Notice

The notice that is going to be published in the local papers must include a full and proper description of the property in question, and this must also include the complete address and contact information of a person who can give proper directions to the property. The notice must also contain crucial details, such as a physical description of the property, reasons for default, name of lender, time, date, and place where the sale will be held. It must also list down the contact details of the individual who will conduct the sale. It is a must to have the sale on the date specified in the notice; however, this can be postponed and rescheduled within 30 days from the original date. It is possible for the borrower to recover his property within six months, as long as its total land area is less than twenty acres.

As you can see, real estate laws can vary from state to state. Because of this, it's crucial for you to be familiar with the regulations or laws in your state or region so that you can abide by them and avoid doing something unlawful because of ignorance. In case you need expert assistance regarding such issues, get in touch with an expert real estate lawyer or a broker who can give you practical and sound advice. Good luck!

About Author

Jackie Wing

Jackie Wing is an Alaska native, who enjoys snowboarding more than is probably socially acceptable. She lives in Anchorage with her two dogs Reese and Peanut, or as she likes to call them "Thing 1" and "Thing 2."