A Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure is a process where the lender agrees to take the deed to your home rather than pursue a foreclosure action against you for nonpayment of your loan. This option is easiest where there is only one mortgage, and where there are no other liens.
Depending on your lender, a payment might be offered to the holder of a second mortgage or home equity loan, but that lienholder must also agree. Further, if you have yet additional liens against your home, such as tax or utility liens, your bank will likely not even consider this option. Your bank wants your home with “marketable title” … i.e., a clean and clear title without other encumbrances.
While this seems as though it might be an easy and logical solution, what’s important to remember here is that a bank isn’t in the business of owning real estate. They don’t want your home, especially if there’s no equity to be gained in taking it.
While definitely a generalization, there’s certainly truth to the statement that where banks readily accept Deeds-In-Lieu is where a home has equity in the current market and can be quickly liquidated at a profit to the bank. Great if you’re behind in your payments and absolutely must leave the loan obligation and there’s equity in the house. However, if there IS equity, why not try to refinance or pursue a loan modification first?
It’s also important to know that some banks won’t even consider a Deed-In-Lieu of Foreclosure unless you’ve already been rejected for a Loan Modification and/or were also unsuccessful selling your home as a Short Sale.
The information presented on this Site should not be construed as legal or financial advice. You are advised to seek consultation with a qualified Attorney and Accountant. ©Gabrielle Nemes, 2010