Q: I heard a story on National Public Radio that talked about the possibility of the bank buying back your home.
Apparently this could happen as a step before foreclosure but I didn’t catch what it was called or how to go about researching this as an option. Have you heard of such a thing? Thank you for your time.
A: In some cases, if a homeowner is in trouble and contacts the bank, the bank may be willing to take the title to the home in exchange for the amount owed on the mortgage. During the radio show you may have heard the term “deed-in-lieu of foreclosure” used.
The idea of selling to a bank is not an alternative to selling the home on the open market. If you want to sell your home, you should try to sell it by engaging the services of a real estate agent and trying to sell the home for the most money you can get for it.
The “sale” of a home to a lender is a “last resort” move before foreclosure. When your lender is about to foreclose on your home or is foreclosing on the home and you try to work it out with the lender by giving them the title and keys to the home.
If you are in that position, you should contact your lender and talk to a loan representative in the foreclosure department or troubled mortgages department to discuss your options and the availability to give them the title to the home in exchange for them canceling the debt you owe them.
Keep in mind that from a credit perspective, once the bank has started to foreclose on your home, your credit score and your credit history will have been hurt even if you transfer title to your home to your lender.