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Mortgage Defaults

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What are Mortgage Defaults?

Mortgage defaults are circumstances in which a person misses one or more mortgage payments.  If this happens, after a certain period of time, the mortgage loan may go into “default” status.  This is a tenuous situation for the homeowner, as the mortgage company may then take action to take over the property in question.  Mortgage defaults can put the person’s ownership of the home in jeopardy unless something is done to remedy the default status. 

What are the Legal Consequences of a Mortgage Default?

In some cases, mortgage lender may be willing to work with the borrower so that they can make up the missed payments.  However, in many cases, mortgage defaults can result in some very negative consequences, including:

  • Foreclosure:  Mortgage defaults are usually the main cause of foreclosure proceedings, in which the house is subject to a sale, with the proceeds going to the mortgage company in order to make up for lost payments
  • Other property liens:  The mortgage company may file for a lien on other property owned by the borrower, in order to make up for the missed payments
  • Credit score effects: Most mortgage companies send a notice to the person’s credit company, which will impact their credit score immediately.  Later on this can affect the person’s ability to secure loans in the future

Thus, mortgage defaults may cause a person to lose their property interests in the home for which the mortgage was drawn.  For this reason, it’s important that the person consider their mortgage terms carefully before signing any documents. 

What Factors Lead to a Mortgage Default?

Mortgage default may be caused by several factors, including:

  • A miscalculation of bank account funds and earning capacity
  • Miscommunications between lenders and borrowers
  • Misunderstanding terms in a real estate contract

Consulting a professional can often help when it comes to understanding how mortgages work.  For instance, it may be necessary to hire a financial advisor or a lawyer for assistance in negotiating and finalizing mortgage terms.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Mortgage Defaults?

Experiencing a mortgage default can be a challenging experience.  You may need to hire a real estate lawyer for professional assistance with your mortgage issues or dispute.  Your lawyer will be able to help you understand the terms of the agreement, and can also represent you in court if you need to file a lawsuit, or if you need to attend a hearing. 

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 06-19-2018 10:27 PM PDT

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