My New Outside Blog: Georgia: Milledgeville

Handling A Foreclosure Distress Call

In Georgia foreclosure can happen relatively quickly.  The homeowner gets three months behind in his/her mortgage payments.  The bank sends a thirty day notice of foreclosure sale (as required by Georgia law), assigns the property to a foreclosure attorney, and starts advertising the property in the designated county legal newspaper for four weeks prior to the foreclosure sale date.  In Fulton County the legal newspaper is The Daily Report.

In month five the Georgia property is at the county courthouse steps on the first Tuesday starting at 10AM with very few exceptions.  Once its sold (either to a cash buyer or back to the bank), the deed is updated to reflect new ownership.  The homeowner gets a visit in month six from a bank representative with a notice to vacate.  If the homeowner does not go peacefully, he/she will be evicted and the sheriff will come out.  Not a happy ending.

Yesterday's call was indeed a last minute call.  The county sheriff has placed a note on the 'homeowner's' (occupant's) door stating her personal property will be removed on Wednesday morning.  A previous client referred the 'homeowner' to me for a last minute intervention.  I have referred the 'homeowner' to an experienced real estate attorney who has a decade of foreclosure dealings under her belt.

The details of the situation are the 'homeowner' bought the house with her ex husband from the builder.  The builder used a wrap around mortgage (creative financing??) to help the 'homeowner' get into the property.  The builder was foreclosed on by the bank a year later, and the 'homeowner' and a dozen others who purchased property in the same subdivision all found out that they did not technically own their homes.  My distress caller said that she had faithfully paid the builder according to the owner financing terms but stopped when she made aware that the builder was not making his payments to the bank.  The 'homeowner' had even paid the property taxes and insurance for the last two years.

The builder was eventually arrested for alledged mortgage fraud and a few days later was let out of jail.  Not sure of current status of the builder.  My 'homeowner' who is actually a tenant according to the chain of events is now being evicted from the home she thought her and husband were buying from the builder.

While I would like to see the 'homeowner' stay in her home as she desires, the sale comparables of her property have dropped in half.  So the house she is fighting to keep and pay $145,000 for is now worth about $80,000 according to the sale comparables.  My advice is cut your losses, move on, and prepare to purchase with your own mortgage.  But we are in the midst of emotions and sound judgement is hard to hear.

For anyone facing foreclosure in Georgia, it is best to handle the matter as quickly as possible.  Be prepared for the alternatives - short sale, deed in lieu - and be prepared to move if the funds are not produced to cure the delinquency prior to the foreclosure sale date.  For more information on foreclosure in Georgia, please call our office at 404 923 4210 or call me directly at 404 246 3210.

    

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Comment balloon 0 commentsJordon Wheeler • September 20 2011 05:38PM
Handling A Foreclosure Distress Call
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In Georgia foreclosure can happen relatively quickly. The homeowner gets three months behind in his/her mortgage payments. The bank sends a thirty day notice of foreclosure sale (as required by Georgia law), assigns the property to a foreclosure… more