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Foreclosures unhappily have become one of the fastest growing niches in the world of American real estate. Health crises, lost jobs, divorces and deaths all too often result in homeowners unable to continue to make their mortgage payments and losing their homes, their savings, and everything else they have worked for in their lives. Occasionally,in boom periods,and when interest rates are low, people borrow too heavily against the equity in their houses with the hope that housing prices will continue to go up forever. The results, however, are the same: they owe more than the value of the equity in their property and people lose their homes.
The first thing that all those facing foreclosure should recognize is that lenders do not want their homes. Lenders much prefer to receive payments than go to their attorneys and through the processes of eviction, repossession, and resale of foreclosed properties. Everyone facing the prospect of foreclosure should immediately contact their lenders and try to work out some financial arrangement that will allow them to keep their houses.
If satisfacory arrangments cannot be made, the lender will file a notice of default, with a letter sent to the home owner and a notice in a local paper that the property will be sold at a foreclosure sale on a certain date; and the homeowners will be granted a redemption period - usually six months - to pay the full amount owed to the lender. Abandoning their property will result in the shortening of the redemption period to 30 days after notice of default has been filed with the courts. Throughout this process, the home owner has opportunities to cure the default and get back into their homes.
The other face of foreclosures are the opportunities for buyers and investors to find properties for purchase that are priced substantially lower than current market values. At the same time, buyers need to be very wary of buying foreclosures as they likely will be burdened with past due taxes, liens and clouded titles, as well as long periods between purchasing and gaining possession.
Our office has been certified to purchase HUD properties and has registered to be able to purchase VA and Rural Development properties directly from the Federal Government. It also has materials which we are happy to make available to customers about how to deal effectively with foreclosure issues from first notice of non-payment, default, and lender seizures of properties. Foreclosure properties are available throughout Southwestern Michigan at prices ranging from less than $10,000 to more than $200,000.