Foreclosure Article


Recovering Excess Proceeds After Foreclosure of Your Home

In Arizona, a home is typically foreclosed through a process known as a Trustee Sale. A Trustee’s Sale is when an individual or firm (the Trustee) holds an auction to sell the home in an attempt to recover the balance owed to the foreclosing lender.

During the downturn in the real estate market, the purchase price at auction was typically at or less than the loan balance owed to the lender.  However, with the recent upturn in the real estate market, we are now seeing purchase prices that are over the amount owed to the foreclosing lender.  The amount by which the purchase price at auction exceeds the balance owed the foreclosing lender is known as Excess Proceeds.

EXAMPLE:

$ 135,000   Price the property sold for at Trustee Sale auction

-  100,000   Loan balance amount owed to foreclosing lender at time of auction

$    35,000  Excess Proceeds

 

In the above example, $100,000 from the sale proceeds goes to pay the amount owed to the foreclosing lender.  The question is who is entitled to the remaining $35,000 in Excess Proceeds?  Generally, the Excess Proceeds first go to junior voluntary lienholders and then to the homeowner whose home was foreclosed.

Voluntary lienholders are lenders to whom the homeowner voluntarily gives an interest in the home.  Two common examples are your mortgage company (both your primary home loan and your secondary home equity loan) and a homeowner’s association (a junior voluntary lienholder).  By signing the mortgage, you voluntarily give the lender an interest in your home; and by purchasing a home within a community development you voluntarily give the homeowner’s association an interest in your home.

Involuntary lienholders are creditors who sue to get a judgment against you.  A common example is a credit card company that sues, gets a judgment against you for the amount owed on the credit card, and then records that judgment as a lien against your home.

Let’s add a few facts to the example above.  In addition to the $100,000 loan being foreclosed, there is a 2nd mortgage for $20,000 and a credit card judgment lien of $20,000.  Under this scenario, $100,000 goes to pay the amount owed to the foreclosing lender, with the $35,000 in Excess Proceeds being distributed as follows:  $20,000 to the 2nd mortgage (junior voluntary lienholder) and $15,000 to the homeowner. The credit card company (involuntary lienholder) gets nothing.

So how does the foreclosed homeowner know if there are Excess Proceeds available?  The Trustee is required to mail a notice to the homeowner’s last known address.  The problem is the last known address is usually the foreclosed property, which the homeowner has vacated without providing a forwarding address.

The homeowner, armed with the knowledge that a Trustee Sale can generate Excess Proceeds, should track the Trustee Sale process.  Call the Trustee’s office the day after the sale is scheduled to take place.  Ask the Trustee’s office if the sale was postponed (note: the Trustee is not required to provide you written notice of the postponement) or completed?  If the Trustee’s sale was postponed, ask the Trustee’s office for the new sale date. If the Trustee’s sale was completed, ask: Are there Excess Proceeds from the sale?  When will the Trustee be depositing the proceeds with the county treasurer and filing the required lawsuit?  Inform the Trustee that you are the foreclosed homeowner and want to make a claim for the Excess Proceeds.  Provide the Trustee with your new address and send a confirming letter (by both certified mail/return receipt requested and regular mail) to the Trustee with your new address and contact information.  

Excess proceeds can remain on deposit with the county treasurer for up to 2 years. Certain deadlines begin to run when the Trustee deposits the Excess Proceeds and files the lawsuit. Upon receiving notice that the lawsuit has been filed, you should immediately contact one of the legal aid offices listed below for free legal help in recovering Excess Proceeds.

You can apply online for free legal help here or click here for a directory of legal assistance in Arizona.

This article provides general information about Excess Proceeds.  It does not address your specific factual circumstances and should not be relied on as legal advice.  Please contact an attorney for legal advice specific to your situation.


Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • Does the anti-deficiency statute cover for a an 80/20 loan where the 1st mortgage was refinanced (no cash out)under HARP 2.0? Refinanced only for lower interest rate/payment.
  • AZ dept of Housing sent us to you to file a complaint against Bank and Mortgage Company (Proper business names redacted).  How do we mail or email our five page complaint to you? (Personal information redacted)
  • Short Sale question - What do I do if there was not full disclosure at the short sale by the lender that a heloc would still have a balance & they would come after me 4 years later?
  • how long do we have after told about foreclosure to move out?
  • I am in foreclosure with Citimortgage. I just started working after eight months. I have kept in touch with them, and they will do a hardship application when I can provide two paystubs. This I can do as of two weeks from today, when I get my second pay stub. Unfortunately, they are proceeding with foreclosure. I cannot afford an attorney. I just need someone to make them wait the extra two weeks, plus however long they take to process my application. Without my house I am literally homeless, and I am so close to giving them what they need. Can you provide me with pro bono assistance?
  • we are currently listed as owner's to a mortgage but signed transfer of property- deed papers to an investor of whom we have been making monthly payments to. We have been informed by the mortgage that our payments have not been submitted and that we will soon be in foreclosure. What can we do? This investor promised to assume the mortage as well as the property but really only filed tranfer of property and continues to collect our money, of which has been steady each month.
  • My home was sold at a foreclosure auction on 11/22/16. I have never been served a 3 day notice by the new owners just a Summons and Complaint. They want me out of the property and want to charge me an outstanding amount of money and I cannot afford to pay it. They are trying to get a default and judgment against me and I am living in the house with my 8 year old granddaughter. I work 4 days a week and need time to secure another place for us to live. These people are very unreasonable and want me out. I have lived there for 23 years and am having alot of anxiety over this. HELP
  • My home was to be foreclosed on 6/13/14 my husband and I filed for bankruptcy on 6/11/14 and advised Ocwen, our servicer and provided the case # to them, Ocwen in turn advised us that there would be NO foreclosure that they would put a hold on it. About a week after that we received notice of the foreclosure sale date having been moved up to 7/8/2014, I again called and they advised me that there was NO sale due to the bankruptcy filed, then in next 2 weeks I had people coming to change locks on my doors which didn't happen bur was advised that my home was now REO that it had been foreclosed.
  • My house in AZ was foreclosed on& was one of the homes that was part of state of AZ v B of A(national mortgage settlement). Since this foreclosure was part of the successful lawsuit for unfair practices, could I ( and how) can I have it removed from my credit report?
  • I understand that in Arizona, deficiency judgements cannot be sought on purchase money loans, but what are the rules for second loans?

STORIES

  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .

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