Thinking of Walking Away From Your Foreclosed Home? It May Not be a Good Idea!

Thinking Of Walking Away From Your Foreclosed HomeOne of the options facing families whose homes are in foreclosure is to simply pack up and leave. This is what Willard and Holly Brown did with regard to their foreclosed home in Clarkston, Washington. However, things did not work out well for them. It cost them $116,000!

Home Secured Small Business Administration Loan

Willard and Holly Brown took out a $200,000 Small Business Administration loan. The loan was processed by Wells Fargo Bank and it was secured by a mortgage on their home.

Homestead Exemptions

Most states have homestead exemptions with regard to a homeowner’s principal place of residence. However, it usually only applies to a family’s principal place of residence. When the Browns moved away from their home, they cut off the utility services. They advised the water company to “permanently shut off the water to the home.” They rented an apartment in Florida. The apartment had a one year lease on it. They also changed their car registrations to Florida and obtained Florida driver’s licenses.

Surplus Funds from the Sale of Their Home

At the foreclosure sale of the Brown’s home, there was $116,377 received in excess of the amount of the mortgage. Under the homestead exemption in the state of Washington, these funds would have gone to the Browns.

Waiver of Homestead Exemption

Wells Fargo Bank claimed that the Browns abandoned their home and therefore forfeited their homestead exemption. The Browns litigated this issue. The Court of Appeals in Washington State held that a homeowner is presumed to have abandoned his or her homestead when they have vacated the property for a period of six months or longer. The Browns claimed they were on an extended vacation in Florida and that Wells Fargo, their bank, was wrong in claiming they had abandoned their home. Unfortunately for the Browns, the Court of Appeals didn’t buy their argument. The Browns lost $116,377. The moral of this story is, before abandoning your home, you should look into your rights under your state’s homestead exemption.

New York Foreclosure Lawyer

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo represents individuals throughout the Metropolitan New York area concerning foreclosure defense issues. We help our clients obtain mortgage modifications and we deal with mortgage modification programs that fail to meet our clients needs. We also litigate defective mortgages, defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending issues and foreclosure related bankruptcy issues. We meet with our clients at the time of the initial consultation and advise them all of their foreclosure options. These options include litigating the foreclosure and pressuring the banks to enter into a mortgage modification, as well as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. Call us for a free consultation. Thank you for visiting our foreclosure blog.

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