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Selling a Home in Pre-Foreclosure in Raleigh, NC

Raleigh, NC skyline

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When you hit some bumps in life, it can be devastating. After the hard work and wonderful feeling of buying your home in Raleigh, to find your home in pre-foreclosure is a hard place to be. The good news is that pre-foreclosure is not a dire situation and there’s still time to make a change. There’s a straight line to a positive outcome if you take proactive steps.

Getting market price for distressed properties from real estate investors upon reaching pre foreclosure with a lending institution isn’t out of the question.

What is a pre-foreclosure letter

When you miss several mortgage payments, you home can fall into pre-foreclosure. You’ll know that this has happened because your mortgage lender will send you a letter in the mail notifying you that you’ve entered into pre-foreclosure. In all likelihood, you had an idea that this was happening well before the official notice comes in the mail. 

Though this is definitely a serious situation, it’s not the point of no return. Not by a long shot. You have lots of options when that letter comes in the mail before you lose your house. If this is your situation, step back and take a deep breath before you get emotionally involved. It’s a scary situation, but this notice is still early in the process. Above all, don’t panic!

A property owner who is behind because of unpaid taxes won’t be formally foreclosed on for a while. Making backdated payments or working out monthly installments can prevent a home from getting to the sheriff’s sale or public auction. The foreclosure process begins with delinquent payments, but being served with a letter is not the end of the process.

Just the first step in North Carolina

Pre-foreclosure is the first phase of the long and complex legal process that sometimes ends in a piece of property being taken back by the bank. Whether a family is ultimately evicted from their home in Raleigh depends on a lot of things happening in the interim. 

For homeowners in Raleigh who are behind on mortgage payments, the first step in the foreclosure process happens when the mortgage holder files a notice of default with the Wake County Clerk of Court. 

There are set amount of delinquent payments that a homeowner can fall behind with before they get a notice of default. This is set out in the terms of the mortgage. If you’re a Raleigh homeowner who’s in a tough spot, it’s important for you to look over your mortgage paperwork and find out what the terms of the home loan are. 

Judicial foreclosure in Raleigh, NC

brick house with trees in Raleigh, North Carolina

Image by Kathleen Culbertson via Unsplash

Before a mortgage holder can move out of the pre-foreclosure stage of the process, they have to go in front of a judge to get approval. The Wake County judicial system doesn’t move swiftly, so that leaves homeowners in Raleigh some time to pull the loan out of default before the house goes into foreclosure

There are four kids of foreclosure in North Carolina:

– Power of sale foreclosure

– Foreclosure by civil action

Tax foreclosure

– Homeowners association/condo owner’s association foreclosure

All four of these kinds of foreclosure in Raleigh, NC are handled in the court system. The last two involve a homeowner being behind on either taxes or fees associated with their home. The first two are done by a mortgage company or bank lender. The North Carolina General Statues make provisions for all four of these foreclosure processes in North Carolina. 

What is a short sale?

Short sale sign in Raleigh, NC

Image by Justin Lim via Unsplash

In all four foreclosure situations in North Carolina, the homeowner has the power to negotiate a  short sale of the home or to go through with a traditional real estate sale or an all cash sale.

A short sale is when the home is sold for less than the amount owed on the mortgage. Though this is a preferable outcome to a full on foreclosure, a short sale often means that the homeowner will still ower money to the bank. Sometimes the difference in the price of the sale and the amount still due on the mortgage is forgiven by the bank, but not always. 

Often, a short sale situation involves a homeowner selling to an investor or a home buying company. In any case, the mortgage lender has to approve the sale of the home under these terms. Homeowners in Raleigh, NC facing foreclosure will need to contact their lender to negotiate these terms. 

In many cases, the mortgage holder will agree to a short sale if the homeowner agrees to a default judgement. This pulls the house out of foreclosure, but the homeowner will still have to make payments on the amount due to the lender. 

Pros and cons of a short sale

The benefit of a short sale is that it keeps foreclosure off of the credit rating of the homeowner. There’s no massive hit to the credit rating either, though there is still a detrimental mark placed in the credit file. A foreclosure stays on a person’s credit report for seven years. 

 It can take up to a year for the whole short sale process to go through, and it takes a lot of paperwork. 

 Fair, all cash offers for houses in foreclosure can also be part short sales. Pre foreclosure means that the mortgage loan is behind, but there’s still lots of time before the final foreclosure sale. The lending institution might still be able to work with a home owner to create a plan for affordable payments for people in financial distress. Short sales are not the preference for most lenders. They’d prefer backdated payments for a home in default status.

Banks don’t like foreclosure

One wonderful piece of news for Raleigh homeowners facing foreclosure is that banks don’t want to repossess your house. When a loan goes underwater and the bank has to sell the property, they lose money. The best outcome for the homeowner and the bank is to come to an agreement to keep you in your house. 

You can work with the bank to arrange a short sale. This allows you to get out with your home equity and them to avoid the costs of foreclosure. Whatever they can do to prevent you losing your house, within reason, a mortgage lender will do. 

Pre foreclosed properties are a top priority for banks. There are also government programs that can help pull a pre-foreclosure property out of the negative.

Options for homeowners in pre-foreclosure

front door of a pre-foreclosed home in Raleigh, NC

Image by Jaye Hach via Unsplash

Lenders are generally willing to work with you and negotiate to keep your house out of foreclosure. 

Though the notice of default means that the wheels are turning towards a foreclosure, there’s still plenty of time to get back on track with your home loan. You might be able to catch up payments in a lump sum or to grade them out over time. There’s even the option to potentially refinance your Raleigh house in foreclosure. For that, you might need to get a cosigner or agree to a higher interest rate. 

If you’ve gone into default because of some life circumstance like a divorce, a job loss, or the death of a family member, you should talk to the mortgage company. Life circumstances happen to everyone, and these are usually temporary situations. You can negotiate a loan modification, make backdated mortgage payments, or arrange for a short sale of your house. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there were lots of provisions put in place to help homeowners stay out of foreclosure. For government-backed mortgages, evictions and foreclosure proceedings were halted. Though the crisis is past now, there are still government agencies that can help homeowners stay out of foreclosure. 

Is it too late to sell your home in Raleigh?

Selling a pre-foreclosure home in Raleigh is possible if you step into action. All the way up to the final foreclosure auction of the home, it’s possible to strike a last minute real estate sale of the property in Raleigh. 

Mortgage borrowers can connect with prospective buyers to get market value for their home. Short sales are sometimes the only options if you’ve missed payments on your home. Real estate-owned properties are a common, if unfortunate reality in Raleigh, NC.

To avoid foreclosure, either work with a real estate agent or reach out to a home buying company. As soon as you’re behind in monthly payments, it affects your credit history. The outstanding loan balance might seem like a huge hurdle to overcome, but paying down the mortgage balance with a quick, all cash sale can save your pre foreclosure property.

Keep in mind that once the lending bank reaches out to the county recorder’s office, that’s only the beginning. As a property owner, you have a lot of leeway to save your credit score. A foreclosed property isn’t out of the hands of the owner because a default notice is sent out.

Cash home buyers can help Raleigh homeowners in foreclosure to pull out of even the worst situation. 

Brett Riggins

Brett Riggins

Founder of Connect Home Buyers Brett Riggins started his real estate journey after graduating from Western Michigan University in Construction Engineering. After completing his first few residential flips, him and his wife Arin started Connect Home Buyers LLC, and today, they help homeowners sell their property quick and hassle-free.

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