By: Elaine VonCannon Associate Broker, ABR, SRES, Notary, Team Leader, Residential and Commercial Property Manager, Managing Partner VonCannon-Starke Commercial Division, Member of the National Association of Residential Property Managers, Award Winning Agent, RE/MAX Hall of Fame, Licensed in Virginia, Member of Commercial Council VAR
As the name sounds, a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure is a process in which the deed to a home is signed over to the mortgage company in return for them forgiving all, or a significant portion, of your mortgage loan.
You are giving your property to your lender in exchange for a release of your mortgage repayment obligation. The advantage to you is that it immediately releases most or all of the defaulted loan.
You also avoid a full public foreclosure proceeding. You may receive more generous terms than in a court ordered foreclosure. The advantages to a lender are to minimize their losses... and a significant reduction in the time, expense and red tape, involved in a foreclosure proceeding.
Despite the fear of calling the lender to inform them of a financial hardship or asking for help, homeowners should just contact their bank or mortgage company and ask them what they can do to start the process of reviewing an offer for a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
Mortgage companies are not allowed to request their clients give them a deed in lieu, because it must be offered voluntarily by the homeowner.
In fact, many mortgage companies will not even suggest this option to homeowners in default, because they do not want to be viewed as persuading or pressuring the delinquent homeowner into giving up their home, and of course; they would rather have the money to pay off the mortgage or get it back on track.
Thus, it will be up to the homeowners themselves to begin the process of speaking to the bank or mortgage company about a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
This should be done as soon as they know they will be unable to stop foreclosure any other way. Deed in-lieu-of foreclosure should always be an absolute last resort to avoid full a court order home foreclosure.
Deeds in lieu of Foreclosures are not automatically approved by the banks or mortgage company.
You may also get into the black hole with this type of option. Chase, Citibank, Bank of America is just a few who has different departments and agents in each department handling the same property and not talking to each other. The paper work gets lost, missed phone calls, and in some cases the Banks require the property to be listed and the listing to be active.
That being said, what agent is going to list a property that knows the owner is trying to do a deed in lieu? I did to help put a very nice client of mine. They had to have the property as an active listing. With an offer on the table they had to decline the offer or they would loose the option of the bank taking the property back. So you see this is a quagmire. The only upside is it hits your credit like a short sale would, not as much as a foreclosure would.
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