Monday, March 4, 2013

Can the Bank Evict me from my Foreclosed Home without any Legal Process?

Question: We have been working with our bank on a loan modification for over a year. When we recently came home, all of our belongings were in the garage and workers were in the house painting. We were given no notice of a foreclosure sale nor were we given eviction papers. The workers also changed the locks, although we still have access to the property. We filed papers with the Attorney General to stop any foreclosure action. We are missing some of our valuable personal belongings and some of our property was damaged. We did not abandon the property. We were considering changing the locks back and making them evict us as the Sheriff was not notified. What can we do to stop the foreclosure action right now and get the workers out who are using the services we pay for?

Response: Were you in foreclosure? Foreclosure is a long, legal process and even while you are trying to modify the loan, foreclosure process can still occur unless the loan is in a trial plan or permanently modified. However, the court must first grant the Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale, the bank then has to advertise the foreclosure sale in the newspaper for the next month and afterward, the sale property is sold off at an auction and goes to the highest bidder (most often to the bank itself). If someone is still occupying the property, the bank cannot just come in, change the locks but would rather have to evict the holdover tenant through Landlord/Tenant court. Unless the property was vacant, I can't imagine someone getting so confused as to assume the property is not occupied. Being that the process takes quite some time, it is possible that it is not the contractors from the bank who are occupying the property but someone who noticed that the property has been vacant for some time and is taking advantage of the situation. Also, if the foreclosure sale did indeed take place, you would need to do a Motion to Vacate Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale. It can be rather complicated and I would suggest finding a professional attorney for help.

In the legal blog, Attorney Svetlana Kaplun addresses typical questions our firm has received from our clients, or come across from homeowners related to foreclosure, foreclosure defense, loan modification and bankruptcy topics.

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