Being faced with a foreclosure on your home is one of the most stressful situations in life. You are worried about losing your home and your investment, and you hate the thought of a foreclosure and the effects it will have on your credit rating and your future. In certain situations, and in certain states, there is an alternate to a foreclosure, which is called a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
In order to obtain a deed in lieu of foreclosure, both the financial lender and the homeowner must agree to sign over the title of the deed to the lender. In other words, the financial institution will now own the home in question. In return the original homeowner is relieved of paying back the debt still owed on the home.
The homeowner in default have no more liabilities in regards to the said house, and by procuring this agreement with the lender, the deed in lieu of foreclosure will not affect the homeowner’s credit rating like a traditional foreclosure would. The agreement to go for the deed in lieu of foreclosure must be made at the start of the foreclosure process. The deed in lieu of foreclosure is an out of court settlement.
The bank or lending institution will most often opt for a deed in lieu of foreclosure when the debt is so great that the homeowner cannot pay it. It would not be worthwhile for them to seek a deficiency judgment, which is a court order to recoup part of the outstanding debt related to the foreclosure. They normally follow through with the actual foreclosure when the debt isn’t as much as the value of the property.
The advantages of a deed in lieu of foreclosure is an economic one for the lender, by settling out of court the lender will save money on court and attorney fees. The lender will also make sure that the deed in lieu of foreclosure will not make them responsible for any mortgage liens upon the property before proceeding with this action.
In other words holding the title will be a separate entity from any liens (claims for payment from contractors etc.) upon the property. At this point the bank or other lending institution will be a be able to sell the property and recover their loses. The new owners of the property would be responsible for the liens if there are any pending.
The benefit to the original homeowner is that the record of foreclosure will not be recorded on their credit history.