If I decide to walk away from my mortgage, what do I tell the mortgage company when they call to find out why I've stopped making payments? 7 Answers as of July 24, 2013

Will I still be responsible for paying property taxes? How long can I stay in the condo? Is it 6 months before or after the sheriff's sale?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
You should not just walk away. You should try to short sale the house and if necessary, file bankruptcy so you have no future liability.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/24/2013
Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
You don't need to tell the bank anything. You don't need to talk to them at all. Their option is to foreclose. After foreclosure, they will need to evict you. Since it is a condo, the bank may not move to do anything for years. As long as you are the titled owned of the condo, you are responsible for property taxes, HOA fees, utilities and insurance.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/22/2013
Mark S Cherry, Attorney at Law, PC
Mark S Cherry, Attorney at Law, PC | Mark Cherry
You could discuss a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Generally you have about a month after a sheriff sale.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 7/22/2013
Janke Legal Consulting | Bruce C. Janke
Instead of just walking away, you should contact the mortgage company and try to negotiate a "cash for keys" deal. Lenders are often willing to pay money for moving expenses or other sums to avoid the cost and delay of foreclosure. You would simply sign a deed to the lender in exchange for an agreed sum of money. An alternative would be to talk to a real estate agent about a short sale, which means negotiating with the lender to allow you to sell the house to a third party for less than the amount of the mortgage loan balance. There is no fixed amount of time that an owner can remain in the property after the foreclosure sale. If you don't move out voluntarily, the lender has to file an unlawful detainer action against you in court (the same as a landlord evicting a tenant). Once the lender gets a court judgment, it will deliver a writ of possession to the sheriff's department, which will physically evict the people and their property from the building. The timing depends on how busy the court and sheriff's department are.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/23/2013
Law Offices of Daniel J Winter
Law Offices of Daniel J Winter | Daniel J Winter
There are many issues in "walking away" from a mortgage. More important than what you tell the mortgage company is for you to find out the real consequences. You can be held responsible in Illinois for the deficiency (the amount remaining on the mortgage after the condo is sold). Also, you are potentially responsible for paying all of the condo association dues. You need to speak to an experienced lawyer, then, after consulting with the lawyer, and developing a plan, you'll know what to tell the mortgage company.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 7/23/2013
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    The typical redemption period runs six months from the judgment of foreclosure. The sheriff sale will take place shortly after the end of the six-month period. Your rights in the property end after a hearing some days later than the sale. There are exceptions so you should consult a lawyer for details relating to your personal situation. If you intend to 'walk away' from the house, you would protect yourself best by negotiating a 'deed-in-lieu' of foreclosure, and being certain you are released from any claim for a deficiency.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/23/2013
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. | Diane L. Drain
    It depends on the law of the state where the property is located. Unfortunately I can only answer questions related to Arizona realty.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 7/23/2013
Click to View More Answers: