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What is a forced sale and what can I do to avoid it?

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2020 | Creditors' Rights

If you’ve fallen behind on your mortgage, then you may have heard your lender tell you that a forced sale is impending. You may wonder what exactly that entails.

A forced sale is another name for a foreclosure sale. It’s a process whereby your lender seeks to have you evicted or simply put your home up for sale while you’re still living in it.

This is the last resort option for lenders. Most jurisdictions allow your mortgage company to foreclose on your home after you miss a single payment on it. Many don’t do this though. They instead wait to see if you reach out to them. Most of these creditors will offer you alternative payment options if you’re experiencing financial problems. It’s only if you don’t contact them that they generally seek to foreclose on your home and force its sale.

Lenders are often open to working with you up until the last moment when they attempt to sell your home. The earlier you get to them during the foreclosure process, the more favorable their terms are likely to be. The reason that this is the case is that foreclosure is a costly legal process. If they can resolve their differences with you without having to spend additional time and money on it, then that works best for them.

A forced sale is a final step in the foreclosure process. It generally takes the form of a public auction. It’s at this event that the bank attempts to sell your home with the ultimate goal of recouping some if not all of what you owe them. Whether you must have vacated your home by the time this happens varies depending on the jurisdiction. In some cases, the onus to evict you may rest on the shoulders of the home’s new owner instead of your lender.

If you’ve fallen behind in making mortgage payments here in King County, then the worst thing that you can do is to keep quiet. You should reach out to your lender right away and let them know what’s going on. You’ll ask them what options you have for avoiding foreclosure. You may find it helpful to discuss these with your attorney. Your lawyer can help you explore what may be the best option for you here in your Washington case.

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Law Office of Ruth Nelson
7742 14th Avenue NW
Seattle, WA 98117
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