In 2010, 2.87 million homes were repossessed and auctioned due to defaults on mortgage payments. Fortunately, this trend has made it more affordable for new homeowners to acquire property through auctions. Similiar to real estate auctions are estate sales, in which a deceased person’s possessions are sold in one auction or piecemeal. Here is some of the common terminology used in the practice of auctioning real estate and estate sales.
- Absentee Bid – If you’re dying for a rare antique you found on an online auction but can’t make the showing, consider placing an absentee bid. This bid can be submitted orally or in writing in lieu of your presente
- RAccredited Auctioneer, Real Estate – The Auction Marketing Institute designates this professional certification to auctioneers who possess the proper education credentials and a track record of good practices and ethics.
- Appraisal – When a home is appraised, its property value is assessed by a third-party company. This information is essential to placing a bid.
- Bank Letter of Credit – When a bidder is not paying with currency, a certified letter from the bank may be obtained to verify the person’s eligibility for credit.
- Bid History – A historical account of all the bids made at an auction. By looking at the bid history, you can find out whether it’s worth it for you to place a bid yourself.
- Estate Sale – An estate sale will involve an auction selling all of a deceased person’s property, including the person’s land, house, fine art, jewelry and other items of value.
- Tax Sale – A tax sale differs from a foreclosure. A house is foreclosed as a consequence of mortgage default. A tax sale is conducted by the government when property taxes are not paid.
The Foreclosure Process in Washington
Foreclosure is when a lender in Bellevue, Washington, re-possesses the real property that was purchased with the loan. This is meant to cover the bank’s losses, in case the borrower continuously fails to make his or her mortgage payments.
A foreclosure normally involves a forced sale of the house at auction, so the bank can recover at least some of the loss it has incurred as a result of the default. Banks normally want to rid themselves of the property as soon as possible, collect as much money as they can from the sale, and then move on.
Like every other state in the U.S., Washington authorizes homeowners facing foreclosure to opt for a foreclosure by judicial sale. This is a process through which a court oversees the sale of the house by the lender. The purpose is to see that the lender takes reasonable steps to notify the public of the auction, and other steps to ensure that the house sells for the highest price possible. This is meant to protect the borrower, making it less likely that they’ll have to pay a large deficiency judgment (the remaining amount due on the mortgage if the house sells for less than the remaining balance).
In some states, original mortgages are recognized as “non-recourse” loans, making the above problem a non-issue. This basically means that once the mortgaged property is sold by the lender, the debt is discharged, even if the sale nets less than the remaining balance on the mortgage. The borrower will simply have to write this off as a loss. However, this usually does not apply to refinanced or second mortgages.
How to Possibly Avoid Foreclosure in Bellevue, Washington
It’s extremely important that you engage in continued communication with your bank. Lenders are surprisingly willing to make accommodations if it means they still get paid something, but in order to accommodate your situation, they have to know about it.
You should remember that the bank doesn’t really want your house. They authorized a mortgage hoping to make a profit from interest, and that’s what they’d much rather do. They aren’t in the business of buying and managing real estate. Therefore, banks will sometimes go to surprising lengths to accommodate your financial hardship, especially if it’s temporary.
If you experience a sudden change in your financial situation, your lender, in an effort to prevent you from defaulting, might be willing to accept lower monthly payments, at least temporarily.
Finally, there is the “short sale.” Normally 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 option. In Washington, 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.