Foreclosure Law in Ohio
Foreclosure in Hamilton County, Ohio is a process that authorizes a lender to take possession of the property that was used to secure their loan, in the event that the borrower fails to repay it.
If an ordinary consumer faces foreclosure, it normally involves a home that was purchased with a mortgage from a bank. The bank will normally try to sell the house at a public option, with the hope of at least covering the remaining debt, to avoid taking a large loss.
In Ohio, and every other state, foreclosed homeowners can go through a "foreclosure by judicial sale." In this form of foreclosure sale, a court supervises the sale, ensuring that the bank makes every reasonable effort to get the highest price possible for the house. The purpose of this is to maximize the chances that the bank gets, at the very least, the remaining balance of the mortgage. Although this may seem counter-intuitive, it is intended to safeguard the borrower: it helps prevent them from still owing money after the house is sold at auction.
In some states, original mortgages are regarded "non-recourse" loans. This means that once the house or other property that secured the mortgage is sold, and if it sells for less than the balance of the mortgage, the lender has to absorb the loss, and cannot sue the borrower for the remainder. This normally does not apply to second mortgages or refinanced loans.
How to Possibly Avoid Foreclosure in Hamilton County, Ohio
To prevent foreclosure, communicating with your lender is key. Let's face it - if you're in a case where foreclosure looks like a possibility, your life is not going to be easy for some time. While it's challenging to step up and acknowledge unpleasant facts, doing so will make your life much easier in the long run. If your lender is aware of your situation, it's far more likely that you'll be able to work something out with them.
Bear in mind that banks aren't in the business of real estate speculation - they're in the business of lending money, and making profits through interest on their loans. In short, the bank doesn't really want your house - they'd much rather have you continue making your mortgage payments. For banks, foreclosing on a home is a last resort. Essentially, nobody likes foreclosures, and everyone wants to prevent them.
If your financial situation suddenly changes, your lender may be willing to change the terms of your loan, at least temporarily, permitting for lower monthly payments. If this means that they will be able to get some money from you, with default as the alternative, it can become an attractive option for everyone involved.
As a last resort, you might consider a "short sale," which results in loss of the home, but it normally leads to a great deal of the debt on the mortgage being forgiven. Basically, a short sale in Ohio involves selling the house for whatever price it can fetch. The proceeds from the sale go to the lender, and if it sells for less than what's left on the mortgage, the balance of the debt is forgiven.
Can a Hamilton County, Ohio real estate attorney help?
If you are worried that your Hamilton County, Ohio house is going to be foreclosed, and want to try and stop this, a seasoned real estate lawyer can help.