Foreclosure Questions & Answers
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- What can a Mid Michigan Community Action Foreclosure Prevention Specialist do for me?
- What happens when I call a Mid Michigan Community Action Foreclosure Prevention Specialist?
- What kind of paperwork will I need in order to speak with a Mid Michigan Community Action Foreclosure Prevention Specialist?
- What do I do when I am fearful I will miss a payment?
- I have unpaid property taxes and the county is threatening to take my home. What should I do?
- I’ve missed four or more payments…What now?
- What is the redemption period?
- What happens if I want to buy my house back?
- What if I don’t buy back the property and I’m still there at the end of the redemption period?
- Do I need an attorney?
What can a Mid Michigan Community Action Foreclosure Prevention Specialist do for me?
• Educate and help you understand the foreclosure process
• Assist you in creating a spending plan that works for you
• Assist you in communicating with your lender’s loss mitigation department
• Offer you referrals that help you make ends meet
There is no fee for foreclosure prevention services. You may be required to provide some information and paperwork to see if you qualify for our services. Foreclosure specialists or counselors cannot offer legal advice.
What happens when I call a Mid Michigan Community Action Foreclosure Prevention Specialist?
You will be asked to complete a 5-10 minute questionnaire that will help the specialist evaluate the severity of your situation. If you qualify for services, the specialist will send you an application packet and then set up an appointment in person or over-the-phone.
What kind of paperwork will I need in order to speak with a Mid Michigan Community Action Foreclosure Prevention Specialist?
You will want to gather income and budget documentation, and information pertaining to your mortgage and mortgage delinquency.
What do I do when I am fearful I will miss a payment?
We always encourage communication with your lender to possibly work out a compromise. If you need assistance, call Mid Michigan Community Action’s Foreclosure Prevention Specialist at (989) 386-3805 ext. 1021.
I have unpaid property taxes and the county is threatening to take my home. What should I do?
Call your county treasurer to possibly work out a compromise. Consider applying for Step Forward Michigan, a program designed to assist homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage or taxes. If you need assistance, give us a call—we can get you started.
I’ve missed four or more payments…What now?
The Foreclosure proceedings begin and a Sheriff's sale (foreclosure sale) will be scheduled. You will receive a notice by mail AND a notice will be taped to your door. You DO NOT HAVE TO MOVE at this time. It is important to speak with a foreclosure specialist immediately at this point.
What is the redemption period?
After a property is sold, there is a redemption period that usually lasts six months. You can continue to live in the property and are not required to make any mortgage payments. You have rights such as selling or buying back the property.
What happens if I want to buy my house back?
Learn the sale price for your property by obtaining a copy of the sheriff’s deed from the Register of Deeds in your county. You only have to pay the purchase price from the sheriff’s sale even if it is substantially less than your loan amount.
If the purchase price from the sheriff’s sale is less than the amount owing on your loan then you may be responsible for the difference, called a deficiency. The deficiency is set by the sheriff’s sale purchase price, not what the purchaser sells it for later. The mortgage company (or another company to whom they sell the debt) can try to collect on this deficiency. In that case, you should seek legal counsel.
What if I don’t buy back the property and I’m still there at the end of the redemption period?
The sheriff’s sale purchaser can file a court action to evict you. They may also offer you “cash for keys,” which is where they pay you a small amount of cash if you agree to move out. Tenants have additional rights under federal law. The purchaser can’t change the locks or evict you without a court order. You should contact an attorney for assistance if this happens.
Do I need an attorney?
There are many reasons that you may want to seek legal help during the foreclosure process. Talk to a lawyer or counselor experienced in default and delinquency counseling.
You may also wish to ask yourself these questions to determine if you need legal assistance:
• Have foreclosure proceedings already started?
• Are you thinking about filing for bankruptcy? (Filing for bankruptcy in the State of Michigan halts the foreclosure process)
• Do you have a lot of credit card debt and are looking for mitigation help?
• Are you having a hard time paying your other loans (example: car loan)?
• Do you live on more than two acres of land? (If foreclosed upon, you may have legal rights to a one-year redemption period instead of only six months).
• You are a renter and your landlord is going through foreclosure.
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should consider seeking legal help. There are a number of organizations that offer free counseling and legal assistance in Michigan.