ARTICLES & NEWS

FORECLOSURE & SHORT SALES ARTICLES

Mortgage repayment failure

Statute of Limitations for HELOCs

By Christopher Combs | July 26, 2020

Question: When we bought our Chandler home in 2006, we got a 30-year first mortgage with Bank of America, and a Wells Fargo $100,000 second mortgage home equity line of credit (“Wells Fargo HELOC”). We used this $100,000 for a swimming pool and for landscaping in our back yard. In 2011 we both lost our jobs and we had financial difficulties. Although we were able to keep our first Bank of America mortgage current, we stopped paying our Wells Fargo HELOC. Last week we received a letter from an attorney that our Wells Fargo HELOC balance is $160,000, and that…

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foreclosure

HOA Can Foreclose on Home for Unpaid Dues

By Christopher Combs | May 24, 2020

Question: Our mother has been struggling with dementia that has worsened over the last year. We recently moved her from her Mesa home to an assisted living facility in Gilbert. The Mesa home is both a physical disaster (with numerous repairs necessary) and an HOA paperwork disaster. The HOA dues total more than $3,000, and have not been paid by my mother for over a year. In addition, there are numerous unpaid HOA fines of more than $2,000 for overnight parking in the street and for not making repairs to the exterior of the home. The HOA’s management company has…

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Construction loan

“Walking Away” From Construction Disaster

By Christopher Combs | February 23, 2020

Question: In 2016 we bought a lot for $40,000 in Camp Verde to build a summer home. Last summer we got a construction loan for $280,000. This $280,000 construction loan was secured by the lot and by the home to be constructed on the lot. During construction of the home, however, heavy rains caused the foundation to sink and the partially built home to collapse. Almost all of the $280,000 loan had been used for the construction of the home. Our contractor has no insurance and our insurance company has denied coverage because we didn’t go to Camp Verde to…

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Foreclosure For Sale

Partial Payment Doesn’t Cancel Foreclosure

By Christopher Combs | September 8, 2019

Question: After our parents passed away two years ago, my sister and I became the owners of their home in Sunnyslope worth $280,000. My sister wanted to live in the home, so I deeded the home to her in exchange for her giving me a five-year $140,000 mortgage on the home. In addition to the monthly mortgage payments, my sister was to pay the property taxes and the homeowner’s insurance. My sister has never made one mortgage payment to me, and I have been paying the property taxes and the homeowner’s insurance. I finally hired an attorney to do a…

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auction

Bidding at a Trustee’s Sale

By Christopher Combs | August 4, 2019

Question: Two years ago we loaned my wife’s sister $70,000 to buy a small home in Glendale. The $70,000 loan was secured by a $70,000 promissory note and a deed of trust on the home. My wife’s sister never made one monthly mortgage payment to us, and she moved back to Iowa a few months ago. She has refused to sign a deed to us because she eventually wants to come back to Arizona. We started foreclosure proceedings with the title company that drafted the original paperwork, and a foreclosure sale is scheduled next month. What do we need to…

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Solar Panels Foreclosure

Solar Panel Lease Has Priority Over Bank Foreclosure

By Christopher Combs | July 15, 2019

Question: In a recent column you said that, after a bank foreclosure of a first mortgage of a home, the solar panels belong to the buyer who purchased the home at the foreclosure sale. The attorney for the title company that our brokerage firm uses said that your answer was wrong. The title company attorney said that, if a solar panel company financed the sale or lease of the solar panels, and the solar panel company recorded a UCC-1 financing statement, the solar panel company would still own the solar panels after the foreclosure of the first mortgage. Who is…

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Tenants Have Protection in Foreclosures

By Christopher Combs | January 3, 2019

Question: We have been renting a home in Chandler for several years. We just signed another one-year lease. Two nights ago a process server came by and posted a notice of foreclosure in our front yard. Our landlord lives in Chicago and has not returned our phone calls. If our home is sold in foreclosure, when will we have to move? Answer: In general, a federal law protecting tenants in their homes during any foreclosure by the landlord’s mortgage lender has been in effect since 2009, and has been recently renewed with no expiration date. If you are a bona fide…

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Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure Should not Prevent a ‘Buy Back’

By Christopher Combs | October 24, 2018

Question: Although home values are increasing in our North Phoenix neighborhood, we are still “underwater” ten years after we purchased our home at the top of the market. Due to medical expenses of one of our children, we are behind on our mortgage payments. Our mortgage company has now agreed to accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure (“DIL”) from us. We still love our home, and in the next few months we should finally be able to sell a lot we own near Flagstaff and have some money. If our mortgage company puts the home back on the market…

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