Yes, you can stop the sheriff sale! Borrowers have fallen behind on their mortgage payments since the early days of home ownership. And lenders, in an effort to protect their financial interest, have filed foreclosure action accordingly. Since the real estate market crash of 2007, and due to various economic reasons, more borrowers than ever have faced foreclosure. And the result? A huge increase in the number of properties involuntarily lost at a sheriff sale.
Today the housing market and the economy has been steadily improving, resulting in a reduction in the number of homes sold at a sheriff sale. Each county in Pennsylvania has its specific sheriff sale procedures and you can learn about those procedures by visiting the county websites. In Montgomery County, go to http://montcopa.org/… Law & Justice… Sheriff’s website for info regarding sheriff sales. The Montgomery County sheriff sale occurs once per month at 1:00 PM on the last Wednesday of each month and are held at the courthouse in Norristown.
At these sales, the appointed representative for the lender (plaintiff) will announce a minimum bid requirement for each property. The sheriff’s office gives some time to allow registered bidders in the audience to place a bid. If there is no bid, the property is awarded to the plaintiff. If there is bidding action, the highest bidder is awarded the property. Either way, the borrower (defendant) is no longer the legal owner of the property at that point. Know this: the involuntary loss of a property at a sheriff sale can have a major impact on people – financially, emotionally and certainly in terms of future credit worthiness.
If you are behind on your mortgage payments and have unsuccessfully attempted to work with your lender to modify your loan, or if you have decided it’s time to move out of your home, don’t wait until the sheriff comes a knockin’! Take the initiative and make arrangements to sell your home voluntarily, even if it requires that you sell via a short sale. This will postpone the pending sheriff sale if done properly. Don’t wait! Consult with a real estate agent, like myself, who has successfully closed over 80 short sales. It truly is in your best interest.
Additionally, homeowners in distress may be eligible for relocation assistance or HAFA monies to help with moving expenses. Many real estate agents are not aware of this. Do not hesitate to contact an attorney and/or a tax advisor at any time if you have legal and/or tax related questions. And if you have further short sale interest or questions, feel free to contact me – I have extensive short sale experience and I stand ready to put that experience to work for you.
Rick Sheppard – RE/MAX Achievers, Inc.