Your house is the largest asset you have. This asset is banked (public notice) at the Register of Deeds Office. All your loans against this asset are also recorded/deposited in our office. Over the years, many residents haven't been able to pay their debts and the lender has foreclosed on their home. In the last two years there has been a spike in mortgage foreclosures (or Sheriff's Sales).
Banks typically protect their loan by buying the foreclosed mortgage back at the Sheriff's Sale. The purchasers of that foreclosed mortgage must keep an eye on the number of mortgages on a property and the Treasurer's Office Tax Foreclosure Sale. Tax foreclosures trump mortgage foreclosures in terms of who ends up with the property.
We are asked by individuals in foreclosure "What does this mean to me?". To better help our citizens answer this question we put together this information for our web page.
What can you do if you or someone you know recieves a letter from the bank stating the foreclosure process has begun?
First call the bank/lender. If you are having problems making your house payments call your bank. Many banks will work with you. Don't ignore the letters!!
Stay in your home. You won't qualify for certain types of assistance if you move out. Keep the house in a presentable fashion.
If you can't work with your bank: (1) contact a housing counseling agency to determine your options (2) get refinancing options from other lenders (3) sell your home.
Don't underestimate the importance of preserving your good credit. Your future ability to purchase certain items, rent or buy another home, and complete certain transactions depends on your good credit.
Beware of predatory lending schemes and scams. If it sounds too good to be true then it is! People facing foreclosure are frequent targets as they become desperate to find any solution to their problem. Some practices and scams are: (1) Someone says they'll help, all you have to do is sign the house over and move out. You do, they rent the house out, never pay off the mortgage and let the bank foreclose on you. (2) Some groups, saying they are a credit counseling business, may contact you. They charge a fee for something you could do for free, ie., contact your bank, etc.
- Don 't lose your home and damage your credit history.
- Call or write your bank immediately and be honest about your finances.
- Stay in your home to make sure you qualify for assistance.
- Arrange an appointment with a housing counselor (most are free).
- Explore every alternative to keeping your home.
- Beware of scams and predatory lenders.
- Don't sign anything you don't understand.
Once you are in foreclosure, you retain control of your property for 6 months, 12 months if you have more than 3 acres. During this time you can refinance or sell your home. Everyone has choices. When faced with foreclosure you must take advantage of all your choices. Don't wait, the clock is ticking!
Also please check out the State of Michigan Website "Save The Dream" at, http://www.michigan.gov/mshda/0,1607,7-141-45866_47905-177801--,00.html We also have it available under "Helpful Links" on our main page.