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Understanding Foreclosures

It is an unfortunate commentary, but when economic activity declines and housing activity decreases, more real property enters the foreclosure process. High interest rates and creative financing arrangements are also contributing factors.

When prices are rapidly accelerating during a real estate “bonanza”, many people go to any lengths available to get into the market through investments in vacation homes, rental housing and trading up to more expensive properties. In some cases, this results in the taking on of high interest rate payments and second, third and even fourth deeds of trust. Many buyers anticipate that interest rates will drop and home prices will continue to escalate. It is possible that neither will occur and borrowers may be faced with large balloon payments becoming due. When payments cannot be met, the foreclosure process looms on the horizon.

In the foreclosure process, one thing should be kept in mind: as a general rule, a lender would rather receive payments than receive a home due to a foreclosure. Lenders are not in the business of selling real estate and will often try to accommodate property owners who are having payment problems. The best plan is to contact the lender before payment problems arise. If monthly payments are too hefty, it may be that a lender will be able to make some alternative payment arrangements until the owner’s financial situation improves.

Let’s say, however, that a property owner has missed payments and has not made any alternate arrangements with the lender. In this case, the lender may decide to begin the foreclosure process. Under such circumstances, the lender, whether a bank, savings and loan or private party, will request that the trustee, often a title company, file a notice of default with the county recorder’s office. A copy of the notice is mailed to the property owner.

If the default is due to a balloon payment not being made when due, the lender can require full payment on the entire outstanding loan as the only way to cure the default. If the default is not cured, the lender may direct the trustee to sell the property at a public sale.

In cases of a public sale, a notice of sale must be published in a local newspaper and posted in a public place, usually the courthouse, for three consecutive weeks. Once the notice of sale has been recorded, the property owner has until 5 days prior to the published sale date to bring the loan current. If the owner cures the default by making up the payments, the deed of trust will be reinstated and regular monthly payments will continue as before.

After this time, it may still be possible for the property owner to work out a postponement on the sale with the lender. However, if no postponement is reached, the property goes on the block. At the sale, buyers must pay the amount of their bid in cash, cashier’s check or other instrument acceptable to the trustee. A lender may “credit bid” up to the amount of the obligation being foreclosed upon.

With the recent attention given to foreclosure, there also has been corresponding interest in buying foreclosed properties. However, caveat emptor: buyer beware. Foreclosed properties are very likely to be burdened with overdue taxes, liens and clouded titles. A buyer should do his homework and ask a local title company for information concerning these outstanding liens and encumbrances. Title insurance may or may not be available following a foreclosure sale and various exceptions may be included in any title insurance policy issued to a buyer of a foreclosed property.

Your local title company will be happy to provide additional information.

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BUDDY HARPER TEAM REALTY
5130 Wilkinson Blvd.,
Gastonia, NC 28056
Licensed NC & SC
Phone: 704-879-7155  

Fax:      704-879-7157
Email:bharper1@carolina.rr.com
Direct:  704-747-4016

Testimonials Page

Stacey and I had a wonderful home buying experience working with Christyn Denton. Her knowledge of the Belmont area; her understanding of our home wants, needs and desires; and her professionalism were excellent. We had to find something in a short period of time, and she helped to take away our stress during the process. We highly recommend Christyn for your home buying needs. Sincerely, Mike & Stacey Andrea
Christyn, "I just wanted to take a minute and thank you for all the hard work and effort you put forth in our recently ratified contract. Your professional manner and commitment undoubtedly contributed to the successful conclusion to you or clients offer. If more agents were of your caliber our business would be so much more enjoyable." Tim B
Buddy, We want to thank you for the Excellent service you gave to us in finding our "Dream Home"! We appreciate all the time you spent in negoiations and getting us the best price on the house! Our best regards, Mike & Karen Worrell
Buddy, Thank you for helping us to sell the Stanley house, we really appreciate your hard work and friendship. Jeff & Emily
Buddy, We want to thank you for all your hard work that you did in finding a house for us! We cannot tell you how much we appreciate all the time and effort you put into us! We miss you already. Chan & Natalie
Buddy, I can't tell you how appreciative I am of all you did to help me. I must say, you have made me change my mind about realtors and their integrity. I certainly am convinced of yours! So thanks for all you do and for who you are. May God bless you! M. Hayes
Buddy Thank you so much for all your hard work to help us buy our first house! We really appreciate you going above and beyond for us. Thanks again! Ryan & Lisa
Buddy, thank you so much for all of your help in the past several months! You have been a God send, and we couldn't have done it without you! Thank you again, The Devers
Dear Buddy, Not everyone can do what you do. But anyone can see that what you do makes a wonderful difference. Thank you for your involvement and commitment in finding our home. The Green's
I appreciate everything you did for me. I feel like you went above and beyond and I'll never forget it. Thank you! I love my new home, it's perfect. Thank you again for everything! Sincerely, C. Phipps
We would like to thank Buddy Harper for all the time he took with us while we looked at condos all over town. He's like the Energizer bunny, he never runs out of power. He listed our house to sell on Thursday and we had a contract on Saturday. If you are even thinking of selling or buying you need to call the Buddy Harper Team Realty for results! Jimmy and Sandy Carr
Thanks for all your help in making our "dream home" a reality. We really appreciated that you went the extra mile to get us the best price for our home. You are truly a professional. Grant & Tammy Field
In all our dealings with Realtors over the past eight years, we have never met anyone as helpful and energetic as you have been. Without hesitation, we would highly recommend your service to anyone who is looking for an experienced Realtor who cares about getting things done and doing them right! Thanks for taking such good care of us, we couldn't have done it without you! Tisha Jackson
Thank you so much for taking the extra effort to make our first home purchase successful. You were there guiding us through all the crucial and important steps! You really listened to what we wanted in our home and you found exactly what we were looking for - at an amazing price! If we ever outgrow this home, we'll definitely be calling you! Ben and Catherine Hoersch
You made buying a home so easy for my wife and I. We were grateful for how much patience you used in answering all of our questions and taking us to look at so many houses. You never pushed us into looking at something we were not interested in. We strongly recommend you to anyone looking at buying a new home. Matt & Jennifer Keepes
Thank you so much for all you have done for us to make this so easy and stress free. Also, thanks for taking care of all the additional things that had to be done. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Tom & Carol
John and I want to thank you so much for selling our house for us. Thank goodness, we can sleep at night now. We appreciate everything you did for us! John & Robin
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