How To Stop Foreclosure In San Antonio, Bexar County Texas

How To Stop Foreclosure in San Antonio can be a scary and very much an unplanned process in a person’s or family’s life.  When faced with a bank or property tax foreclosure, most people next wonder how to avoid foreclosure immediately in Bexar county.  In order to learn how to stop foreclosure at the last minute, even after it has started, you must first learn about the types of foreclosure and the foreclosure process that is used in Bexar county.  This article is designed to help you learn everything you need to know about ways to stop foreclosure in Bexar county Texas.

 

This guide to foreclosure in Texas is meant to help inform homeowners who may be facing foreclosure in Texas or know someone who is facing foreclosure in Texas.  This is not mean to be an all-encompassing document created by lawyers for other lawyers.  Our goal is to explain the necessary aspects of the foreclosure process especially related to Bexar County and San Antonio Texas.  Over the years as we buy houses in San Antonio, we frequently come across situations where homeowners are uninformed or misinformed regarding their foreclosure.  Our goal is to provide a resource for homeowners in Texas.  We are going to break down the most important terms commonly used, explain the process, and help homeowners have a better understanding of what happens during a foreclosure so that they can take the appropriate course of action for their unique situation.

 

Understanding The Two Types Of Foreclosure In Texas

1. The first and least common are Judicial foreclosures.  This type of foreclosure is ordered by the court and normally happens after a judgment in a lawsuit.  Again, this type of foreclosure is the least common.

2. The most common type of foreclosure seen in Bexar County and across the state of Texas is known as non-judicial foreclosure.  Most foreclosures in Texas fall under the category of non-judicial foreclosures.

How A Foreclosure Impacts Homeowners In Texas

 

Texas residents who may be facing foreclosure need to understand the impact of a foreclosure.  The effects of having a foreclosure are immediate as well as long term.  The truth is foreclosure can follow you for years and can put you in situations that are difficult to overcome.  There are emotional effects as well as financial and believe it or not, it can even impact where you are able to live in the future.  We are going to list some of the common effects of a foreclosure.

 

Prevent Foreclosure San AntonioLose Home / Evicted – A foreclosure can affect a homeowner in many more ways than just the obvious fact that you have to leave your house.  However, getting kicked out of your house is the main reason to avoid foreclosure in San Antonio.  Once the foreclosure happens, the home investor in San Antonio may try and come in and change the locks and remove all of your personal items and they likely won’t do so with care.  They may also hire the sheriff to come in to supervise the move out to make sure the house isn’t damaged during the move.

Emotional Effects – The emotional effects of going through foreclosure are wide-ranging and well documented.  Losing your home and going through financial crises has been most commonly linked with depression.  The inability to avoid foreclosure can damage your self-esteem in ways that you may not fully realize at the time.  Despite the fact that bad things can happen to good people and no one intentionally goes through foreclosure, the process can leave you with feelings of shame and guilt.  While this is normal, you shouldn’t have to go through those feelings especially because there are things you can do to stop foreclosure in San Antonio.

Where You Live – Homeowners in foreclosure are at risk of having difficulty finding a place to live after a foreclosure.  Most apartments and rental properties use credit scores to screen tenants.  A foreclosure can make it more difficult to have a lease accepted by a property owner.

Ability To Get New Loans – Virtually every lender making a lending decision will use your credit to determine your eligibility for a loan as well as your interest rate for the loan.  For example, car dealers and credit card companies will charge higher interest rates or won’t lend at all to those with severely damaged credit.  This can be changed and overcome over time.  Additionally, you cannot get another government back mortgage for 7 years after the foreclosure.

Future Job Opportunities – Future employers are often checking credit to make hiring decisions.  They aren’t taking the time to find out why a foreclosure is on your record.  It is said that many employers take that as a red flag and move to the next candidate.

Possible Tax Implications – It is possible that you could owe taxes as a result of the foreclosure.  This can happen if there are perceived capital gains or canceled debt from the bank.  If it is, in fact, a bank foreclosure, you will receive either a 1099A or 1099C in the mail from the bank.  You will need to discuss with the person preparing your taxes if there is a tax liability.

Damage To Your Credit – Another of the major negative effects of a foreclosure is the damage to your credit score.  It is one thing to miss or be late on a monthly payment or two.  That can be cleared up and your credit score can rebound rather quickly with a few on-time payments.  However, once the foreclosure gets reported to the credit bureaus, substantial and long-lasting damage will occur.  Your credit will likely drop to the lowest possible score.  The foreclosure also will likely stay on your credit report for at least 7 years.  This may not seem that important when you are facing the fact that you just lost your house.  However, your credit report and credit score can impact your life in more ways than most people realize. These possible outcomes can impact your life negatively in ways you might not be able to imagine.

Who Can Foreclose On Your House?

Texas residents can face foreclosure from two primary authorities.

 

1. One is from the mortgage holder of a property. This is the entity or person who has lent money to purchase a property.  In most cases, this is the bank.

2. The other is from the Bexar County sheriff in the form of a delinquent property tax foreclosure.

What Happens When The Bank Is Foreclosing On Your Home

 

When you haven’t been making your monthly mortgage payment on time, the mortgage holder (the bank) will eventually take steps spelled out by the deed of trust to start the foreclosure process.  Often, for this to have happened, you have fallen behind by several months and the bank hasn’t been able to reach an agreement with you to make up the back payments.  By this time, the bank has likely been calling, and now they are telling you that they are going to foreclose on your house.   They will also have likely sent you letters explaining that they are going to begin the foreclosure process.  Each bank and mortgage servicer are different and each one handles the lead up to foreclosure differently.  Some banks begin telling you about foreclosure very early on after missed payments, others wait longer.  Some banks or servicers will begin talking about foreclosure for months before taking any actual action.

No matter what the bank or servicer tells you, the foreclosure has not begun until they have filed a notice with the county clerk and posted publicly 21 calendar days prior to the intended foreclosure date. This is called a “Notice of Trustee Sale” or “Notice of Substitute Trustee Sale”.  According to the Texas Property Code, notice must also be given to the borrower (most often the borrower is the homeowner).

Here is where it gets tricky and why you absolutely need to keep all of the letters and emails sent to you from the bank or servicer.

They must first send you a document by certified mail.  This document is titled “Notice of Default and Intent to Accelerate”.  This document allows the borrower a period 20 days to fix the problem of late payments by coming to an agreed-upon solution with the bank.  The solution is most commonly making up the late payments and fees in full or what is called a loan modification.  However, if no solution or cure has happened within the 20 days, the bank will take the next step.

Now, the bank must send another certified letter titled “Notice of Default and Intent to Accelerate”.  This letter must be sent 21 days prior to the actual foreclosure date.  This letter must also include information such as the location of the foreclosure auction as well as the three-hour time period in which the sale will occur.

Here is a note for homeowners in this situation.  Mail is required to be sent to the last known address.  If you have moved or are receiving mail at a different location, you must notify the bank of your new address or you might not receive these letters that will tell you the actual timeline of your foreclosure.  Texas has a mailbox rule that says if it is put in the mail, it is presumed to be delivered.  We have spoken to many people over the years who say they never got the letters and notices sent from the bank in the mail.  Unfortunately in Texas, this isn’t an acceptable reason for not knowing about foreclosure and will not help prevent a foreclosure.

IMPORTANT:
Phone conversations with banks are not binding.  Imagine you are discussing loan modification and a lender representative tells you they are holding off on foreclosure. That statement isn’t binding and simply isn’t true.  Unless you have a signed document called a standstill or forbearance agreement, the foreclosure process has not been stopped or paused.  Without signed documentation, phone calls or conversations with bank representatives mean nothing.  The bank is proceeding with the foreclosure while they are having these conversations with you.  Please keep in mind the timeline according to the notices you have received.

Options For Texas Homeowners Facing Bank Foreclosure

 

If you are reading this guide and you are simply late on your payments but haven’t received the official notice of foreclosure mentioned above, the best option you have is to keep your line of communication with your lender open.  Call and email them.  Explain your situation to them and let them know that you want to make payments as soon as you can.  Ask them to work with you.  When the lender sees that you care, you are trying, and you are communicating with them, they are much more likely to work with you and not initiate the foreclosure process.

However, if you are already facing foreclosure, there are still many options for homeowners to stop or prevent the foreclosure from taking place.  We are going to cover each option so that you can determine if one of these options may be right for you.

 

Stop Foreclosure San Antonio1. Loan Modification – A loan modification is a way to stop a foreclosure that includes altering the terms of your original mortgage.   Generally, most of the fees and interest and back payments that have accrued will be added on to the back of the loan.  This is typically done by extending the term of repayment or lowering the interest rate to get the payments lowered.  Not everyone struggling to make their payments will qualify for a loan modification.  This option should be explored early on in the process.

2. Short Sale – A short sale is a specific type of sale in which the bank will allow the homeowner to sell the house for less than the actual amount owed.  This typically happens when the homeowner owes more than the house is actually worth.  In Texas, most short sales involve houses that are in disrepair and require a large number of repairs in order to be move-in ready for a new buyer.  This process can be lengthy depending on the bank.  Each bank has its own processes to apply for a short sale.  Often times the bank will ask for an independent appraisal to be conducted in order to verify the current condition and value.  A short sale can be beneficial to the homeowner because they are able to sell the house and move on.  A short sale can be beneficial to the bank because they don’t have to go through the costly foreclosure process.  The downside for the homeowner is that their credit will likely still be damaged (although not as bad a foreclosure), and the seller could have tax liabilities on the difference between what is owed to the bank versus what the house actually sells for.

3. Bankruptcy – Filing for bankruptcy can be an option to stop or at least temporarily stop foreclosure.  This option requires that you hire an attorney and explain that there is an upcoming foreclosure that needs to be stopped as a part of the bankruptcy process.  While this is an option for some homeowners, it does require that you are able to pay the fees of the bankruptcy attorney.  More information about bankruptcy can be found here.

4. Temporary Restraining Order –  A temporary restraining order is a lawsuit that is filed in order to stop the foreclosure.  This is one of the least common ways to stop foreclosure mainly because people aren’t aware of this option.  The reason it is less common is that in this case, the homeowner is actually suing the lender.  The homeowner’s attorney is going to try to convince a judge to issue the temporary restraining order or TRO.  There are risks in using this technique.  The homeowner has to pay a good amount of money to an attorney to make the attempt which isn’t guaranteed to work.  Also, if the judge decides that the lawsuit was filed without basis or merit, the homeowner could face penalties for filing a frivolous lawsuit.   This is also usually only a good option if the homeowner has a plan in place to remedy the foreclosure before the foreclosure auction next month.   Using a Temporary Restraining Order to stop a foreclosure in Texas is most often done when the homeowner is selling their house to an investor.  If this is the route you choose, make sure the investor has good we buy houses San Antonio reviews so that you know you are dealing with an experienced investor.

5. Sell With A Realtor – Listing your house for sale with a Realtor prior to losing the house to foreclosure is an option for homeowners.  If a homeowner isn’t facing an upcoming foreclosure in the next month, this option can be a good one.  Typically, selling with a Realtor requires some time to get the house on the market, have qualified buyers to come and see the house, negotiate a deal, and finalize the transaction.  There are some great Realtors out there that can make this process go extremely quickly.  Some may work with private investors and can get offers quickly.  Other Realtors may not have the experience or know-how when it comes to the timing that selling a house prior to a foreclosure can demand.  If a homeowner is going to choose this route, they must make sure and do their due diligence and choose a great local realtor.

6. Deed In Lieu Of Foreclosure – As an absolute last resort, homeowners can try and work with the bank to give them a deed in lieu of foreclosure.  This is when a homeowner voluntarily gives the house back to the bank so that the bank doesn’t have to go through the costly foreclosure process.  The homeowner must offer this to the lender and most lenders will require that this be in writing.  Although this option doesn’t carry as many negative repercussions for the homeowner, it is generally not quite as good as any of the other options available to the homeowner.

Selling The House To An Investor

Selling to an investor is frequently an option used by homeowners facing foreclosure.  Often, homeowners facing foreclosure in Texas will exhaust other options and at the last minute, want companies that buy houses to come in and help them stop foreclosure.  Luckily, an experienced we buy houses San Antonio company will have the knowledge required to help most homeowners prevent foreclosure.  Doubly important as choosing a good Realtor, homeowners facing this situation must make sure and choose the investor they work with wisely.  Making sure the people who buy houses have years of experience, good reviews, and are BBB accredited are all factors that should be considered.  Once you choose an investor to work with this late in the process of preventing the foreclosure, this is likely your only shot.  This is often the preferred method for homeowners and gives them the best chance to get the house sold without any negative ramifications.

Homeowners facing foreclosure in Texas do have options to save their house from foreclosure.  Commonly, people will contact us saying “I need to sell my house fast San Antonio TX” Each situation is different and each homeowner must choose how they handle their unique situation in a way that is most beneficial for them.  Stopping Foreclosure in Texas is challenging but possible.  All hope is not lost.  Often times, the difficulty for homeowners is getting the ball rolling no matter which method of stopping foreclosure they choose.

 

What Happens When The County Is Foreclosing For Delinquent Property Taxes In San Antonio?

 

This type of foreclosure is handled by the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department acting on the authority of Bexar county in an effort to collect past due property taxes.  In this case, property taxes have likely not been paid in over two years and the county has decided to foreclose on the house in order to collect their money.  In this case, Bexar County uses a third-party attorney, Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP to begin the process of foreclosure on their behalf.  Property tax foreclosures have to be handled in similar ways to bank foreclosures.  There must be plenty of notice, there will be several forms of public notice as well.

If nothing is done to stop the property tax foreclosure prior to the date of the sale, the property will be sold to the highest bidder at the foreclosure auction handled by the county sheriff.  Once this happens, the buyer of the property at auction is the new owner.  They have all rights to the property including the right and the power to evict the people living in the property.

Once the property is sold, all is not lost for the homeowner or even the heirs of the homeowner.  In Texas, there is a right of redemption period.  This means there is a period of time in which the homeowner can pay the past due taxes plus penalties and regain ownership of the home.  If the property is the homeowner’s homestead, there is a two year redemption period.  If the property is not the homestead, then the redemption period is only 6 months.  Even if home investors San Antonio have purchased the home at auction, you can still redeem the property.

To learn more about this process, and to make sure you are getting your information from the absolute authority on this issue, please visit https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/TX/htm/TX.34.htm  This document contains all of the legislative language used by the state of Texas to govern property tax foreclosures.

How Can A Homeowner Stop A Delinquent Tax Auction In Bexar County?

 

A person who is being foreclosed on for back property taxes has some of the same options as a person facing a bank foreclosure.  There is one additional option not offered to bank foreclosure homeowners that are often offered to property tax foreclosures. Of course, a homeowner can make up the taxes in arrears to stop the foreclosure prior to the foreclosure auction.

Property Tax Loan – If you are facing a back tax foreclosure, you likely know about this option because companies who offer property tax loans heavily market to people who are in this type of financial burden.  We will explain what a property tax loan is and the basics of how they work.   A property tax loan is a loan that is given with a 1st position lien against the property.  Payment arrangements are made for paying back the loan.  These are usually shorter-term loans with higher interest rates.  These lenders use the value of the house instead of your creditworthiness to make these loans.   They can be a great tool if you are experiencing temporary financial hardship and will be back on your feet soon or you just need to buy yourself a little extra time.  When you are thinking “I don’t want to sell my house cash” then this route might be for you.  However, a word of caution.  Even though these lenders must be licensed by the state of Texas, (https://occc.texas.gov/industry/property-tax-lenders) not all of them have your best interests at heart.  Some lenders have earned the reputation of foreclosing quickly if the specific terms of the loan aren’t met.  They see more value in foreclosing on the property and owning the property than if you were to simply pay the loan back.  As with anything, choose who you work with carefully and make sure they have a stellar reputation.

 

Selling The House To A Local, Legitimate Real Estate Investor.

This option is often viewed as a last resort. However, the advantages of beginning to work with a company such as Capstone Homebuyers early in the process can often pay major dividends when the dust settles. This can be a stressful time. Make sure and work with professionals who know your situation and have been there before.

Whether from the bank or from the county, the foreclosure becomes official when the property is sold at a foreclosure auction on the steps of the Bexar County courthouse.  This happens on the first Tuesday of each month and this is where San Antonio homebuyers can go to try and buy property at a discount.  No matter who is attempting to foreclose on your property, you will likely want to take measures to stop foreclosure San Antonio.  If you think Capstone Homebuyers may be able to assist or even offer a free consultation for advice.  Don’t hesitate to give us a call or fill out your information to receive a call and a free foreclosure information guide.

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