While foreclosure defense attorneys are generally in the business of helping people save their homes, struggling homeowners should also consider an attorney when they simply want to walk away.
For many reasons, some homeowners are ready to be done with their homes and move on. Either they cannot afford the home even with the best loan modification or they have simply had enough and are ready for a change. In any case, the worst thing these homeowners can do is simply pack up and move away. Why? Until a foreclosure happens or you convey the property, you still own the home. Therefore, you’re still liable for anything that happens at the home (and still responsible for any state/city taxes and services). For example, if someone is hurt as a result of you not maintaining the property after you’ve walked away, you could very well be responsible for any injuries or expenses caused by your failure to maintain the premises.
Homeowners in these situations have several opportunities to gracefully leave their homes, including a short sale and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. Not only do these options prevent any potential liability, they also avoid the stigma of having a foreclosure on one’s record.
This advice also applies to former homeowners living in foreclosed homes. Even if you’re ready to move, it is a good idea to notify the new owner in writing and let them know you are no longer in possession of the home. Moreover, these former homeowners can often make “cash for keys” settlements that will provide them money for relocation expenses in exchange for leaving the home.
Do any of these situations apply to you? Contact me for a consultation.