Guide to Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure: California
What is a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure?
A deed in lieu of foreclosure is an option to pay back collateral owed to a creditor but avoiding bankruptcy. A deed in lieu of foreclosure in California is not always an option, but if a lender approves the process, you may be able to avoid bankruptcy. Laws for deed in lieu of foreclosure in California closely reflect those of other states, but some of their tax laws are unique. The process involved in a deed in lieu of foreclosure in California can be complicated and stressful, so it’s often in the mortgager’s best interest to hire an attorney.
General Laws Surrounding Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure
There are some laws that carry over from state to state because of statutes supplied under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. There are some unique tax laws for deed in lieu of foreclosure in California, but those laws will be explained farther below.
1) If a mortgager has been approved under a deed in lieu (DIL) of foreclosure, they have up to 90 days to complete the transfer from the beginning of the approval. If the mortgager cannot complete the process within 90 days, a lender and creditor may seek other methods for repayment such as bankruptcy.
2) Under HUD, up to $2,000 may be awarded to the mortgager for junior liens or for payment upon vacating the property. $2000 is the limit, and less money may be awarded in certain cases.
3) A mortgagee may decide upon their own decision to revert from a foreclosure process to the DIL process, but the ultimate decision depends upon the mortgagee’s Quality Control Plain. The mortgagee has a final decision in this part.
Apart from the federally mandated laws listed above, there are some specific laws concerning a deed in lieu of foreclosure in California as well.
Important laws for deed in lieu of foreclosure in California
Many of the laws in California reflect those in other states, but California has a specific law when it comes to deficiency payments.
Under California state law, deficiency judgments are allowed on foreclosure, short sales, and deed in lieu of foreclosure that do not have a “no deficiency” provision within the original agreement. If you are pursuing a deed in lieu of foreclosure in California, you should be aware of this law, but you should also be aware of the fact that many lenders will not pursue the deficiency judgments. Only about 5% of cases where a lender can actually pursue deficiency does the lender actually decide to do so.
Additionally, the tax that was exempt from the IRS income tax liability according to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 is now active. The two acts give a time period until the end of 2012, but homeowners still have options to both avoid foreclosure and a deed in lieu of foreclosure in California. Many homeowners can now refinance under the record low mortgage rates in order to be able to pay their mortgage and avoid foreclosure.