What Happens If I Inherit a Home in Foreclosure?

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So you’ve inherited a house from a family member or friend. While some people understand that they have houses coming to them through inheritances, actually processing the news once the inheritance happens can be a different matter altogether. There is inheriting a house in theory, and there is inheriting a house in reality. In many cases, even those who understood that they were receiving houses through inheritances did not know exactly when they would receive their inheritances, with many deaths being fairly unexpected. Additionally, there are many circumstances in which people inherit houses without expecting them at all.

No matter what the circumstances of your inheriting a house, you may be shocked to find that the house you inherited is in much worse physical and financial shape than you expected. A lot of people make provisions in their will before letting a house move into disrepair, or perhaps even towards foreclosure. Inheriting a house that is in foreclosure can be quite terrifying on a financial level, and you probably don’t know many people who have experience with this precise situation. So, what do you do next?

I’ve Inherited a Home in Foreclosure. Now What?

Firstly, you should make sure that you have a lawyer on hand so that if you have any legal questions, they can answer them quickly. Owning or selling an inherited home is always complicated at first, and you shouldn’t discount legal advice. You should then determine how the title of the property is held.

The title for a property can be held in a number of different ways, and you can find out how the title for your inherited property is held by looking at the deed. If the property was held through a joint tenancy, the other joint tenants will usually inherit the property. After that, you will not need to do anything extra, typically. A tenancy entirety will operate in a similar manner but exist solely between spouses, while tenants in common will involve each tenant receiving an individual share. If the deceased person held the title in their own name, the title will need to be transferred into your name, as it will in a tenants in common situation.

After the title is transferred, you will need to determine how much is owed on the house still. You can determine this by requesting a recent statement from the mortgage company. Afterward, it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to save the house. In many cases, people choose to sell a home fast if they inherit a house in foreclosure or behind on payments. By selling a home fast, they can avoid experiencing the consequences of foreclosure and use the proceeds from the sale to pay off the mortgage company. But the reality is that it can be more difficult to sell your house fast than you might think.

Can I Sell a Home in Foreclosure on the Traditional Market?

If the house you inherited is already in foreclosure, you will need to negotiate with the mortgage company to ensure that you have time to attempt to sell your house fast before it is taken over by the bank and sold. You will likely be working with a trustee, lawyer, or bank appointed agent depending on how far along in the foreclosure process you are. If the agent has already been appointed then you will be kept in the loop of the sale process but much of the process will be out of your control.

If you’re interested in selling as quickly as possible and the bank has not yet foreclosed, you can either contact an agent who to get you to market quickly, or contact a company that buys houses for cash. If using an agent, ensure they have experience in dealing with foreclosures, can quickly price your home for sale, liaise with the bank if needed, and have a list of investors who can buy your home quickly. Home buying companies and investors often do not require repairs to be done before the house is sold, speeding the process along. If you wish to sell direct, find a service that is familiar with the foreclosure process in your city and may have connections with lenders and lawyers to uncover all your options to sell.

If you work with an experienced home buying company it may be easier to sell your house fast as it will have a streamlined process in place and you will be getting an offer directly. Don’t let yourself fall victim to the consequences of inheriting a home in foreclosure. Sell your house quickly and ensure that you can settle what is owed on the mortgage if you don’t have cash on hand to take care of the outstanding debts.

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