I own a piece of land in Tennesee purchased as an investment property during the flip period of 2005. I live in California. The plot was suppossed to go to buildout of a subdivision but the developer bailed when everything went south and there is now only a single home in this tract that was built to fruition. I have paid on it for 6 years but am no longer willing to pay for a plot of land in a subdivision that has no future buildout in sight. I am willing to risk my credit and walk away (a "so called strategic foreclosure) . What are the ramifications of the lender if I were to do so? My wife and I are gainfully employed. Will the bank garnish my wages, file a lien on my primary property, or just file a foreclosure? What am I able to do to get out from under this payment that I still have 9 years to pay on? What would you advise?
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If this happens, the lender will most likely foreclose, which means they will sell the property at public auction to the highest bidder. The difference between what is owed and what it sells for (if it sells for less than what is owed) is the "deficiency". The lender can pursue a deficiency judgment after the sale. Now assuming it does this, it will then have to "domesticate" the judgment in California. That means taking it to your county, filing it with the county clerk, and then seeking enforcement on it.
That would be a judgment lien, a garnishment order, etc...
The lender can't do this without having first foreclosed AND filed for a deficiency judgment AND received it AND domesticated the judgment.
Now depending on the amount of the deficiency, it may or may not do that.
If the deficiency is $10,000, it would cost more to enforce it than would be received. But if the deficiency is $100,000, or even more, then it might be worth trying to enforce it against you.
This might be the best option, but I would first suggest a "deed in lieu" of foreclosure.
Contact the lender and see if they would be willing to consider this. Inform them that you're considering all your options, including bankruptcy (stress this, because bankruptcy would relieve any obligation for a deficiency).
If they believe that this is an option for you, they might be more inclined to agree to a "deed in lieu".
The other option short of a foreclosure is a "short sale", but in this situation it probably wouldn't be an option. That's where you put the property on the market and find someone to purchase it, and the bank signs off on the lower sale amount.
But you would have to find a purchaser first.
Then there's foreclosure, which is the first option that the bank does not have to agree to with you. Finally, you can file for bankruptcy (if you otherwise qualify) to be relieved of any liability that you have on the outstanding balance.
I would certainly suggest speaking with them first regarding a deed in lieu, and see what they say.
But if they say no to this, the strategic walk-away might be the best option for you.
It would keep you from continuing to throw money away on this property that is not worth anything.
Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please select the "accept" button. If you have already clicked "accept", or if you will in the future, please let me know so I can track these for my own reports and customer satisfaction stats. Thank you, and again, good luck to you!
Current balance owed is approx $103,000 so they will naturally pursue a deficiency judgement.
It's not the balanced owed, but the deficiency. If the property sells for, say, $75,000, then the deficiency would be $28,000.
But they also consider difficulty in recovery. Recovery against a Tennessee resident would be easier than a California one, so that is also taken into account.
And this would be taken into account when deciding whether to agree to a deed in lieu as well.
Ultimately they want to do something that will cost them the least amount of money.
And they might determine that a deed in lieu is the bes.t
That said, if I walk away to a foreclosure then BB&T will seek to obtain payment for the balance between what is owed and what they sell it for at auction? If so, that generally happens as soon as they sell the piece of property at auction and understand the final obligation we owe? At present I am gainfully employed and would not qualify for a BK so what then? I am pleased with your response and will accept now.
Yes, that's typically what happens. They will actually have a law firm handle the whole aspect of the foreclosure, rather than in house, so it won't actually be the bank that is doing it. But ultimately they will be directing the law firm in what to do, whether to file for a deficiency or not, etc...
And regarding the bankruptcy, you can still say that you're considering it, even if you wouldn't actually qualify.
The point is to try to convince the bank to accept a deed in lieu, etc...
Can you explain what a deed in Lieu is? Thanks
Now that's not for certain that it would happen, but it would help your cas.e
Deed in lieu is just where you sign over the property to the bank in exchange for them releasing you from the mortgage.
It's where the bank takes ownership, in lieu of having to file foreclosure.
Thanks for your help. how long does a foreclosure process typically take and how long before we are expected to pay a deficiency?
About 90-120 days from start to finish. Now this is generally after a month or two of demand letters, etc...
They would let you know immediately about the deficiency, but also might take a month or two to get a judgment on that.
Thanks and if you would send over your contact info. You've been much more helpful than a consult I paid for previously.
My pleasure. I wish I could give you my contact information, but we're specifically prohibited from giving that out on JustAnswer (per the site's terms of service). We're only allowed to have contact with customers through this site.
No Worries. Thanks again
Licensed General Practice Attorney, Texas
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