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Staying in Your Home During and After a Seattle Foreclosure

A recent study estimates that 47% of foreclosed properties are still occupied.

Foreclosure is a scary thing to face, especially if you’re trying to keep your home. But even after a foreclosure process has started in Seattle, there are some options available that can help you stay in your home, protect your financial future, and get back on track.

When you first see that stat you may be surprised… but we’re not.

What most people don’t realize is that banks aren’t in the business to own homes.

They are in the business to loan people money. But when they have to foreclose on a house… the bank is forced to own the home until they’re able to sell it to get all or most of their money back.

But, what they had found is that when a Seattle foreclosed house goes vacant… there is a much greater chance that the house will fall into disrepair.  Often times the bank would rather have you in the property even after you stop paying your payments and the foreclosure is started because it wards of vandals and keeps the house in good working order.

There’s been a lot of talk in the media about people living for free after foreclosure – and even many stories about banks “abandoning” properties.

In those stories, people are avoiding house payments for months, even years.

Man, that sounds great! Let’s all live for free. (wink)

Wait… it can’t be that simple, right?

Right.

No bank would purposely neglect to collect payments. The only way that you get to live without making any payments is when some major mistakes were made.

But you might get lucky! It’s possible, and it’s happened before. However, it’s not exactly legal to avoid payments that you owe, and it can get you in serious trouble.

So why are so many foreclosed homes occupied? It’s important to remember that no one wants the house to be vacant. Vacant homes are targets for vandalism and crime.

Staying in the property can help the bank maintain the value of their investment, so it’s actually in their best interests to keep it occupied. Partly because of the ways that the foreclosure laws are structured in WA, banks may ask you to leave while wanting you to stay.

There are a few perfectly legal ways to remain in your home, even after foreclosure.

How To Stay In My Home After Foreclosure In Seattle

Not all these options are available (depending on your situation and your lenders), and you’ll need some expert advice along the way to help you get through.

1) Wait it out. Honestly, this is a pretty bad option, but it seems to be increasingly common. You definitely shouldn’t run away and abandon your house when the first notice of default shows up. Remember that the proceedings and the process takes months and sometimes years. It’s not over until it’s over, so don’t give up too early. On the other hand, don’t wait until the sheriff shows up to evict you to start packing up your stuff.

2) Go to court. In very rare cases, judges are granting stays and delaying evictions. This is really only a valid option if you (and your attorneys) can prove that the bank has neglected a legal requirement during the foreclosure process. During the past few years, a lot of fraudulent behavior at banks has been uncovered – so we may see an increasing trend of using the courts to stop foreclosure. Fighting banks with lawyers is very difficult, expensive and time-consuming, even if you’ve got a perfect case (most people don’t stand a chance).

3) Propose a move-out bonus. Often buyers of occupied foreclosure properties spend thousands of dollars on lawyers and other costs of eviction, so why not save everyone the time and expense by taking some of that money yourself? It’s known as “cash for keys”. It sounds a little greedy, but greasing the wheels does help everything to run smooth. Plus, you can help out the bank and the buyers by not abandoning the house to squatters before they’re ready to take possession.

4) Rent it back. It may sound crazy, but some banks are willing to take on previous homeowners as tenants in their property. That’s only a short-term fix, as they’ll want your agreement to vacate the premises as soon as they find someone to purchase the property. In some cases, we can even purchase the property and rent it back to you.

Understand What Home Foreclosure in Seattle Entails.

Getting a basic understanding of the foreclosure process can help you be better prepared. In Seattle, when a person goes into foreclosure, their home is put up for auction and sold to the highest bidder. The homeowner will often receive notifications from their lender about the upcoming sale and still has some rights during the course of the proceedings. It’s important to understand your rights so you can make informed decisions about how to proceed.

File for Bankruptcy to Stop or Delay a Foreclosure.

One possible way to stay in your home during and after a foreclosure is to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can either stop or delay the foreclosure process as courts evaluate a person’s bank accounts, assets and other conditions. When filing for bankruptcy, it’s important to seek assistance from an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy law so that you understand the implications of your decision and can make sure everything is properly filed.

Consider Refinancing Your Mortgage to Avoid a Foreclosure.

Refinancing your mortgage can allow you to keep your home and lower your payments, potentially avoiding foreclosure altogether. Speak with a financial advisor or loan agent to discuss options that are right for you such as government programs or lender incentives. It’s also possible to set up a loan modification agreement with your lender that adjusts the terms of your current mortgage so you can afford it, potentially saving your home from foreclosure.

Work With Your Lender if You’re Falling Behind on Payments.

If you’re falling behind on your payments and facing foreclosure, don’t panic. Your lender may be willing to work with you to make a payment arrangement that helps you get back on track with payments. Before making any move, speak directly with the lender to explore options that could give you more time or allow for more flexible payments. Be sure to ask what documents and information they need so that the process is smoother.

Explore Alternatives to Home Foreclosure Through Loan Modification and Deed-in-Lieu Programs.

Loan modification and deed-in-lieu programs may help you stay in your home. Through loan modifications, the lender may be willing to adjust the terms of your loan, for example by reducing the interest rate or extending the repayment period. If a loan modification does not work out or if it is not an option for you, then you may want to consider a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure program under which you can voluntarily transfer ownership of your property back to the lender. It is important to look for a program that will help you avoid displacement and homelessness so that you can remain in your house following the completion of the program.

It’s really good that you’re reading this page and exploring your options. We help homeowners like you to find creative solutions.

We can’t help everyone, but we might be able to help you.

We buy local Seattle WA houses like yours from people who need to sell fast.s

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