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. There haven’t been as many homeowners facing foreclosure as there were back at the start of the Great Recession in 2008. But now, due to various economic reasons, more borrowers than ever may be facing foreclosure. And the result? A huge increase in the number of properties involuntarily lost at court directed public sheriff sales!
Here in Pennsylvania, each county 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 sales generally occur 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 court directed 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 an experienced short sale real estate agent, like myself. I’ve helped many homeowners by successfully closing over 87 short sales.
Additionally, homeowners in distress may be eligible for relocation assistance monies from their lenders to help with moving expenses. Many real estate agents are not aware of this but now you are!
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 me at [email protected] and let me put my extensive short sale experience to work for you.
The author, Rick Sheppard, is a licensed real estate broker in Pennsylvania and a 32+ year veteran of the real estate trenches. He knows a lot because he’s seen a lot. If you have any questions about this or any real estate related topic, feel free to contact Rick at [email protected] and he’ll do his best to answer your questions.