Foreclosure auctions are a legal activity prevalent in American and European countries. These days a lot of real estate investors are showing interest in foreclosure auctions because of the increased number of properties up for auction. This will in turn result in buying properties at reasonable prices. Many people buy houses in foreclosure auctions for either self occupation or merely to make profit out of it.

The first stage of foreclosure is something like this. The owner of the mortgaged property begins to miss payments. He receives notifications from the lender regarding the missed payments. If the owner continues to default, the lender begins preparations for filing the foreclosure, during which the owner may try to sell the property. If for some reason the sale of the property fails, the pre-foreclosure or default phase terminates.

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The foreclosure auction occurs after the default phase has ended. The lender decides to regain its losses by selling the property to the highest bidder in the auction. The amount received from the sale is received by the lender who initiated the auction in the first place. Any additional amount is spent on any other expenses or liens on the property. The rest of the amount after resolving all encumbrances against the property is given to the home owner. Foreclosure is the best place to buy houses at great bargains.

Foreclosures can be classified as judicial and Non-Judicial, the main difference being the time taken by the lender to foreclose the defaulted loan. Judicial foreclosure is longer than the Non-Judicial process. In a Judicial foreclosure, legal instruments called mortgages are issued and the whole process takes place through court. In the latter process, deeds of trust are issued, and the title remains with the lender as long as his payments have been settled. The lender also has the power of sale by which the trustee can sell the property quickly and thus recover the collateral of the lender in timely manner.

Homes can be bought at the pre-foreclosure phase also and is something which happens quite so often. Once the foreclosure has been filed the property is in public records. Interested buyers can be a helping hand for the distressed home owners. In most cases, the owner is dealing with a negative event in his life that has caused him to fall behind in his mortgage payments. Adding foreclosure to the credit history of the home owner will make buying another home or establishing any sort of credit a tough task for a long period of time.

Buying directly from the owner for an amount higher than the mortgage balance will end up in the owner receiving more than that he would receive through an auction because of the fee and expenses involved in the process of reaching the stage of auction. If the amount received from the highest accepted bidder cannot pay off the lender, then the owner is liable for the deficiency which may result in garnished wages, seized assets and potentially even federal income taxes. Negotiation with the owner is a critical factor in the pre-foreclosure phase. Even though it might not be an attractive deal for the buyer, the relationship he builds up with the owner may result in many other investment opportunities. A proper analysis of the property is also required before making a pre-foreclosure deal. The amount you agree upon must benefit you as well as the owner in the best possible manner. Before closing the deal the title must be thoroughly verified for clarity and only then the money should be released. Agreements will be signed and you will end up having the satisfaction that you made a deal below the market rate and the owner will have a relief of paying off the mortgage.

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