Q: We were due to close on a house today. However the lender foreclosed on the seller yesterday. What can we do?

A: Depending on what the lender has done and the process they have taken, you may be able to still close on the house. In some cases, you or your attorney can contact the lender and see if they will issue a payoff letter and permit the closing to occur. If they give you a payoff letter and a certain time to close, you can pay them off and they will dismiss the foreclosure proceedings.

On the other hand, if the lender has filed suit and has hired a law firm that handles hundreds of this lender’s cases, you may have a hard time finding someone to help you. The lender’s attorneys may take some time to get back to you and the delay could cause you to lose your own loan.

You may still want to try, but make sure you understand what is going on with the seller and his foreclosure. If the seller owed the lender more money that what you are paying for the home, you will only be able to close if the lender is willing to accept a short payment: a payment that is less that what is owed to them.

The lender does not have to accept it and if they feel they can get more by marketing the house, you may be out of luck and unable to close on the purchase.

Talk to a knowledgeable real estate attorney and get her help in this purchase.