FORECLOSURE - We recently received a letter offering "cash for keys". I live in Georgia.

Asked by Kellie, Georgia Wed Dec 10, 2008

I was wondering, if or what at all possible I can do to try and avoid losing my house. My father designed and built this house himself and due to the economy right now, we fell behind on our payments. We've already filed bankruptcy b/c our small business fell through this year after being in business since 2004. We can't pay the lawyer anymore that was dealing with this, even thought he barely did anything but take our money. After getting this offer and letters saying that the county courthouse bought our house, is there anyone I can try and write or beg for this NOT to happen, or for us to not have to move? I am willing to do whatever it takes and extremely desperate not to lose this house, I will never forgive myself. Any ideas PLEASE HELP!!!

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John Stimson, Agent, Oklahoma City, OK
Tue Feb 17, 2009
If you want to keep your home you have a few potential ways. One is contacting HOPE. You can google it and they sometimes can help out your type of situation. Another option is contacting an investor. If you have some equity in the home you may be able to sell it to him and then rent it back for a year or two with an option to buy when the lease is up.
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Linda Larkin, , Canton, GA
Tue Feb 17, 2009
The foreclosure process in Georgia is "non-judicial" - which means that notice is published in the local paper (where the legals are posted) 4 times and then the property is "sold on the court house steps" - or more likely returned to the lender. This info was in the Security Deed you signed at closing. If you are at the the Cash for Keys stage, it is too late - the lender has taken the property. CFKs or Relocation Assitance, is an offer to help you move out quickly and leave the property in good condition. The alternative is Eviction - which isn't fun for anyone, including the bank.
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Robin Lanese, Agent, Johns Creek, GA
Thu Dec 11, 2008

I am so sorry for you in your current situation. Looks like everyone's business has taken a nose dive this year and lawyer will always be there to line their pockets for little in return. County courthouses can not (not not) buy houses. You should have received notice that your house was to be sold at the court house steps on a particular day. (Normally the first Tuesday of each month) Sometimes lenders will offer cash for keys, although this is a practice usually used by investors who have already purchase the houses at the courthouse auctions or Sheriff’s sale purchase. Review the notice you received for the cash for keys. There should be contact information and ask them how they are able to make you this offer. What proof can they show of ownership; Settlement Statement (HUD-1), notarized deed transfer or warranty/security deed?

Now is not the time to be hard on yourself. You'll need to be strong for you and your family and work to support each other to make wise decisions and move forward. Your father may have built this house, but I sure he would be proud to know you have rebuilt your future. Bad things are happening to good people, you are no exception.
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