We have specialist on our team to help if you are facing foreclosure.
Georgia is a “non-judicial” foreclosure state, meaning that mortgage lenders are not obligated to obtain permission from the courts to foreclosure on a home once payments have become delinquent.
Once the agreed upon “grace period” with your mortgage lender has ended the loan is considered delinquent. The mortgage company is able to demand that the mortgage loan be paid in full once it is in delinquency. Mortgage companies typically will not begin the foreclosure process until payments are several months behind. During those several months the borrower will normally be given the opportunity to make other arrangements to avoid foreclosure.
If the mortgage company does decide to foreclose, they will contact a local foreclosure attorney. The foreclosure attorney will then mail notification to the homeowner that their services have been retained by the mortgage company to foreclose on the property. Once the homeowner has been notified the attorney will “publish” the foreclosure. A property is published once an advertisement is placed in the local newspaper legal ads section stating the foreclosure date of sale. Georgia Law states that the advertisement needs to be published over four consecutive weeks leading up to the foreclosure date of sale.
Foreclosure sales happen on the first Tuesday of the month. These sales take place at the courthouse in which the property is located. The foreclosure attorney will “cry” the foreclosure sale and offer the property for sale. At this point, any interested party who is willing to pay the amount requested by the mortgage lender may purchase the property there on the courthouse steps. In the case that there are no interested parties the property becomes “Real Estate Owned” (REO) by the mortgage lender.
When a mortgage lender takes ownership of a property, they will begin the eviction process. Dispossession (eviction) is filed with the court system and then served by an officer with the Sheriff’s department. There can be a court hearing after eviction papers have been served, although, many homeowners move out before the hearing takes place. If the homeowner does not respond to the eviction notice a “Writ of Possession” is then issued by the judge and the Sheriff’s Department will have an officer come to the property to enforce the eviction. Upon vacancy the mortgage company will list the property for sale with a local real estate agent.
Contact us if you are facing foreclosure proceedings. Our short sales specialist and legal team will advise you of your options.
Answers To Commonly Asked Questions About Short Sales
Will I owe the IRS taxes for doing a short sale?
Taxes may be owed on the difference between what is owed and the sales price of a property following a short sale, or a foreclosure. The IRS considers this difference to be a profit to the homeowner. It is highly recommended that you seek the advice of a tax professional to help determine if you will owe taxes following a short sale.
Can I Short Sale my property if I have multiple Liens?
We will work with the lien holders to get a release on the liens. The primary mortgage lender is generally willing to pay a portion of the lien amount to the lien holder if they will agree to release the lien either “partially” or “fully”. If a “partial release” is signed the homeowner will have to sign a promissory note to agree to pay the debt back. A “full release” by the lien holder releases the lien with no further action.
How long can a short sale take? Will potential buyers be willing to with that long to close on their new house?
There is no way to ensure a buyer will follow through with the entire short sale process, however We work with the buyers real estate agent to make sure the buyer is aware of the expected time frame. An average short sale can take up to 9 months to close.
How much will I be charged in agent fees for a short sale?
Commissions in a short sale are paid by the mortgage lender from the proceeds of the sale. Real estate agents are prohibited from charging you a fee to short sale your property.
Is it possible to do a short sale if I have multiple mortgages?
It is very common for home owners to have multiple mortgages. We will communicate with all mortgage lien holders involved to negotiate an arrangement agreeable to all parties if possible.
Will I have to pay the mortgage lender the difference between the what I owe and the sale price of the property?
The mortgage lender could require this, however the mortgage lender generally will release a homeowners of their obligation to pay the difference. An average foreclosure can cost a mortgage lender $45,000 or more than expenses they incur agreeing to a short sale.
What do I do if the home is not in good marketable condition, and I do not have money to make repairs?
We will prepare a comparative market analysis of your property to determine the fair market value. This report will present a price for your property in “as-is” condition. If you are faced with financial difficulties making your mortgage payment, it is understandable that you will not be able to afford to make repairs or upgrades to the property. The marketing for the property will state it is being sold in “as is” condition to let buyers know up front prior to viewing the house.