Short Sales and Foreclosure

You can expect an eviction if your home is sold because of a foreclosure sale. Whether the sale is by auction, or by a trustee’s sale, the eviction is the legal process by which a property owner physically removes a tenant or trespasser.

Evictions for renters are handled by strict contract law standards and the tenant often has more rights than the landlord. In many states, tenants can sue their landlord for breach of contract, possibly harassment and receive many times their monthly rent if they win the law suit. Some cities make it extremely difficult to evict tenants for any reason. This is not the case with foreclosure evictions because the former homeowners are not tenants. Well-meaning people often tell foreclosure victims about experiences they know about where tenant/landlord law was involved. Again, this is not the situation where foreclosures are involved.

Foreclosure evictions are handled slightly differently in most cities so it is important that you contact the court issuing the eviction notice to determine what to expect. The person who serves the eviction notice, or posts it on the front door usually is not the same person who will enforce the eviction. The eviction will be enforced by a representative of the court, often a county sheriff or policeman. Occasionally, the person giving the notice will tell you that you “actually” have an extra 24 hours, BUT DON’T expect this extra time. Plan on being completely moved out before the actual deadline.

If you are looking at being homeless, contact your local Red Cross or county housing agency for a place to stay temporarily and for cash if necessary. If you have the ability to rent a storage unit for your furniture, store it until you find a place to stay so you aren’t driving a rental truck around town looking for a place to rent. A little preparation is useful in avoiding tons of aggravation later.

The actual eviction may be handled differently, but often an officer of the court (sheriff or policeman) accompanies the new owner or his representative, to the property and alerts anyone in the premises that the eviction will start in a few minutes. In this case, the owner’s representative is responsible for removing everything they don’t want from the premises. The people in the premises are being evicted, not the contents of the property! If the contents are junk or the owner doesn’t want any of it, it usually will be thrown into the swale or the street for sanitation to pick up. If the former owners are not in the premises (at work), the contents could still be thrown out or kept by the new owner. The items put in the street sometimes start a feeding frenzy among the neighbors. Don’t let this happen to you. Take action to resolve your foreclosure early or get moved out before the actual eviction occurs.

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