Clint W. Smith, P. C.

Clint Smith has developed positive working relationships since 1986 with the courts, attorneys and trustees in the Phoenix Bankruptcy Court. This experience and these relationships benefit our clients who file bankruptcy petitions, and creditor clients alike.

Clint W. Smith

Home Foreclosure: Do I Have Options?

In the current economy and home foreclosure situation in Arizona, many clients want to know if they have options when they are unable to make their mortgage payments or are going to have an increased payment due to an adjustment in the rate. Our office can help clients with their mortgages in various ways. We have experts who deal directly with the mortgage companies in order to obtain mortgage modifications for our clients. We can also show our clients how they can essentially arrange for loan modifications themselves by utilizing the available federal laws and helpful websites.

If our clients are filing bankruptcy, and are facing foreclosure, there is another option available. It requires the mortgage company to prove to the Bankruptcy Court that it owns the note on the property, and has the right to foreclose. Some lenders are unable to provide this proof, because of the intricacies of the original notes, and the way the property may have been purchased.

All of these mortgage issues can be addressed in a bankruptcy case, and then further action can be taken accordingly.

There has been much discussion of late about short sales in Arizona. A short sale is when a home is sold by the homeowners, but the mortgage company is paid less than the amount owed. The mortgage company must agree to the sale, and will still release the lien(s) on the home. This option avoids the significant damage to a credit report that a foreclosure will cause, but there are significant risks inherent in this process.

Arizona laws generally protect homeowners from being pursued by mortgage lenders on their residence property after the residence is foreclosed. In a short sale, however, a lender may legally be able to proceed against a homeowner for any deficiency amounts, which would otherwise be non-recoverable by the mortgage lender. This is a very intricate area of the law, and requires specific consultation for each individual situation.