Foreclosure Law in Pennsylvania

In Palmerton, Pennsylvania is a process allowing a lender of a mortgage to take possession or ownership of the property that secured the mortgage in the first place, to cut their losses when a borrower defaults on his or her loan.

Foreclosure most often is a forced sale of a house at auction, since those are the most common types of property bought through a mortgage. Banks will usually try to get rid of the property as quickly as they can, selling it for as much money as they can get in a short period of time.

In every state, including Pennsylvania, homeowners have the option to go through what is known as a foreclosure by judicial sale. Essentially, this means a court will oversee the sale of the house to ensure that the bank makes reasonable efforts to sell it for as high a price as possible (to help avoid a deficiency that the borrower may have to pay), and to ensure that any money which might be left over from the sale (after the balance on the mortgage is paid) goes to the borrower.

In a large number of states, but not all of them, mortgages are a type of loan known as a "non-recourse loan." While the regulations governing these loans are complex, it most essentially means that, once the house is sold, and the sale price doesn't cover what the borrower owes, the lender can't go after the borrower for the remainder. They simply have to take the loss.

How to Possibly Avoid Foreclosure in Palmerton, Pennsylvania

Communication between you and your lender is perhaps the most significant way to prevent foreclosure. Ignoring the issue is guaranteed to be counterproductive. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to dealing with lenders.

Throughout all this, you should remember one thing: the bank doesn't really want your house. After all, banks aren't real estate speculators, they're mainly money lenders. They stand to make a great deal of money if you are able to make your mortgage payments until it's paid off. They're likely to make much less if they're forced to sell your house.

It's possible that your lender is willing to negotiate a plan that results in temporarily-lower payments on your mortgage, particularly if this means that they will be able to get some payments, instead of none at all.

Lastly, there is the "short sale." Usually considered a last resort, a short sale results in the borrower losing their home, but discharges almost all of their remaining mortgage debt. If the house is worth far less than the balance of the mortgage, this might be a good choice. In Pennsylvania, when a house is sold in a short sale, the proceeds go to the lender. If it sells for less than the mortgage balance, whatever's leftover is forgiven. If it sells for more, the surplus goes to the homeowner.

Can a Palmerton, Pennsylvania real estate attorney help?

If you are worried that your Palmerton, Pennsylvania house is going to be foreclosed, and want to try and stop this, a reputable real estate lawyer can help.