Foreclosure Frequently Asked Questions

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What is foreclosure? Why is it happening?

Foreclosure is the legal process of a lender enforcing the mortgage against the property of a borrower. Foreclosure is the result of the lender claiming the borrower failed to follow a provision in the note and mortgage, usually payment related.

When a borrower buys a property, there are two primary lending documents that are signed.

  • A Note – A contract saying the borrower has promised to pay the lender. It details the amount the borrower plans to pay the lender, interest rates, and a payment plan.
  • A Mortgage – A lien against the home. It details that if the borrower does not follow the promises in the note, the lender can take specific actions. This document states the rights a lender has to take the property from a borrower when failing to make required payments listed in the note. This document will also include any rights the borrower has to reinstate a mortgage after missing payments.

In Ohio, a lender has to file a complaint against the borrower to file a foreclosure action. The complaint must contain two counts. One count alleges that the borrower failed to follow the note. The borrower broke the promise listed in the note. Count two is focused upon the right the lender ha to foreclose on the property under the mortgage.

If a lender is filing a foreclosure lawsuit against you contact Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. immediately at (614)944-5219 for legal assistance. In the state of Ohio, a borrower has 28 days after receiving a foreclosure action to reply to the lawsuit and file an answer. Or a borrow may not reply and face a default judgement. Facing a default judgement could mean the borrow automatically loses the property to the lender. If unsure how to reply properly to the lawsuit, a foreclosure defense attorney at Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. can assist you. The time can vary. In Ohio, a lender has to wait 120 days after one missed payment to send a borrower a foreclosure action. Then the borrower has 28 days to reply to the lawsuit. During this time the borrower is allowed to continue living at the property.

If the borrower loses the lawsuit or faces default judgement the property is often sold at a sheriff’s sale. The borrower may continue living on the property and is responsible to upkeep the property until confirmation of a sale. This could be a day or a couple months. Depends on how long it takes for the appraisal and property to sell.

The borrower will then receive a writ of possession once the property is sold and a foreclosure notice to move.

Can a borrower receive a loan modification to get out of foreclosure? Can the borrower get a repayment plan for missed payments? What does it mean to refinance?"

Getting approved for a loan modification can take a long time. It is a good idea to apply and receive a loan modification before making an insufficent mortgage payment. If you have already missed payments and received a foreclosure notice, a loan modification cannot always undo the problem but may delay the process. Contact an attorney at Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. for loan modification assistance.

Some banks or lenders may offer a repayment plan, especially if the borrower has not yet received a foreclosure notice. Most lenders do not want to deal with the foreclosure process and are willing to help borrowers.

Refinancing is when a borrower gets a new mortgage to replace the original with hopefully lower interest rates and more affordable monthly payment.

Can I try to sell my home before it is foreclosed? What is a short sale?

Yes, a borrower may try to sell the property before foreclosure is final. The borrower may even try to sell the property before an official sheriff sale. Selling the property for the remaining balance of the mortgage loan plus the closing costs and other fees is the best way to ensure the borrower does not owe any more money to the lender.

A short sale is when the borrower finds a buyer for the property that won’t pay enough to cover the remaining balance on the mortgage loan. Sometimes the lenders will agree to let the borrower sell the property for the smaller price and will forgive the difference. For example, a borrower still owes $200,000 on a property. A buyer makes an offer on the property for $190,000. The lender might agree to let the borrower sell the property for the lower price and waive the $10,000 remaining balance.

However, a lender may choose to make the borrower liable for a remaining difference when accepting a short sale.  Call the lawyers at Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. at (614) 944-5219 for any questions about short sales.

Do I get any money back from selling my home before foreclosure?

Yes, if the borrower sells the property for more than the outstanding balance owed to the bank, late fees, and closing costs. Borrowers are allowed to try to sell their property at any time during a foreclosure lawsuit.

Do I have to pay off my remaining mortgage loan after my house is foreclosed on and sold at a sheriff sale?

If the amount owed is not covered by a sheriff sale, the remaining balance is called a deficiency judgment. In most cases the borrower would still be required to pay off the remaining balance through a payment plan. If the borrower refuses to follow the payment plan, a debt collector may file for wage garnishment on the borrower.

Contacting an attorney at Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. at (614)944-5219 directly after receiving a foreclosure action could help waive a deficiency judgment. If a borrower agrees to sell the property early on at a sheriff sale and not fight the lawsuit, an attorney may be able to clear the borrower from having a remaining balance.

Does foreclosing on a property damage a consumer’s credit report?

Yes, foreclosing on a property is one of the most damaging situations that can appear on a consumer credit report for seven years. Sometimes foreclosure can drop a consumer credit score over 300 points.

Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. can help a consumer correct errors on their credit report. Call us at (614)944-5219 or click here to

How to look for mortgage relief and foreclosure assistance scams?

Borrowers should always verify information regarding a loan modification or refinance opportunity with their lender. Scam companies often try to represent real government agencies. Many of these scam companies will target homeowners and offer loan modifications.

If you are a victim of a mortgage relief or foreclosure assistance scam contact Doucet & Associates Co., LP.A. at (614)944-5219 for legal assistance.