Hey, Berks County. I wanted to do a little case study for you on a seller that we’re working with right now, who has a home in West Lawn, Pennsylvania, and he contacted Berks County House Buyers to sell his house quickly for cash. And he is behind on payments. And we get a lot of questions from homeowners about what to do when they’re behind on payments on a house in Berks County, and can they avoid the foreclosure process? Sometimes things in life happen that are out of our control, medical issues, deaths in the family of a spouse that was an income earner. That is what is happening in this situation. And unfortunately, because of some medical issues the homeowner was having, the house has been really let go.
A while ago, moratoriums were put in place because of COVID. That means that banks could not file foreclosure if you were behind on payments because of the COVID moratoriums. Now that’s all starting to be lifted and banks are catching up on people who are behind on payments in homes in Berks County, and they are starting to file foreclosure and move forward with the foreclosure process.
Once you’re behind on payments, and especially when a bank files for foreclosure, you start to rack up all kinds of fees: late fees, attorney fees, lots of junk fees that the bank likes to add on to your payments that you’re behind. So you’re not just behind your payments, you’re behind on your payments for your house in Berks County, plus a ton of fees on top of that. So when homeowners in Berks County come to us to sell their house cash, the first thing we will have them do is contact their bank to get a 10 day payoff. This is the total number that you need to bring to settlement to pay off the bank.
This will pay off your mortgages that are on the property, plus all your late fees, attorney fees, and any other fees that the bank has tacked on to your mortgage because of late payments. For a long time, a lot of homeowner were in the clear over the past few years because of the COVID moratoriums. And now banks are starting to lift those and move forward with the foreclosure process. So there are some homes out there that are abandoned or in really poor condition that homeowners just cannot take care of anymore.
So how do you know if you can sell this house cash in Berks County that you’re behind on payment? You contact us for a free, no obligation consultation. And I’m going to use this homeowner as an example of the process that we go through when we meet with someone that is behind on payments. We met with this seller and he first thought he was behind a certain amount of money. So we thought that we could buy the home cash. Then we asked him to call his mortgage companies, because there was more than one, and get a 10 day payoff on what he owed on his mortgages.
When he got that 10 day payoff, it turns out with attorney fees and other fees he owed a lot more than he initially thought. Because he owed a lot more than he initially thought, we were unable to buy the home cash due to the condition. The home needed a lot of repair. It was full of stuff. It needed a lot of clean-out. So the numbers just didn’t work. So what we did was say to the seller, “Let’s try and list the home on the market for you as is, and see if we can get anyone to purchase it that way.” That would be step number two.
Our job at Berks County House Buyers when someone is behind on payments or facing foreclosure is to give you options for selling. So cash was the first option. Listing on the market was the second option. He didn’t really want to go that route, because he doesn’t want a whole bunch of people walking through the house because it’s in need of such repair and it’s full of so much stuff and he doesn’t want to have to clean it out. And a lot of times on the market, when people buy, they want you to clean out the house and fix the problems. So we’re going to list it on the market for him and state that nothing is being fixed by the seller and the home is not being cleaned out.
Now, if we can’t get the amount he needs to pay off his mortgage by listing it on the market, the next step is to explore a short sale. So we’re going through a three-step process with him. First, a free, no obligation free consultation about whether we can buy the house cash. If we can’t buy the house cash, we don’t just leave the seller stranded. We need to help them solve the problem. That’s what we’re here for. So step two was to refer them to our investor agent who specializes in working with people that have homes in need of repair and are behind on payment. Our investor agent is going to list the home on the market to see if we can get a higher offer for it by listing it on the market, to see if we can help the seller pay off those loans and walk away with minimal damage to his credit.
If that doesn’t work, the third option is to initiate the short sale process with the bank. A short sale is when a real estate agent helps a homeowner sell the house for less than what’s owed on the mortgage. So the real estate agent negotiates with the bank and says, “Hey, the home is really in need of a lot of repair and it’s been let go, and this seller needs this much to pay off their mortgage, but we’re only getting offers down here. So can we sell the house for down here?” And the bank basically eats the loss. You sell it for less than what’s owed.
A lot of that is attorney fees, late fees, things like that. The longer you let your house go and the farther behind you get on payments, the more you owe, rapidly owe more due to attorney’s fees and late fees and things like that. So the faster you contact us for your free, no obligation consultation to see if a cash offer is good for you on your home in Berks County, the better. You don’t want to get so far behind in payments and so wrapped up in late fees and attorney fees that you end up not being able to easily sell the home and having to jump through a bunch of hoops.
Selling a home as a short sale is not an easy process. The bank requires a ton of paperwork from the seller and constantly wants updated pay stubs and income and tax returns and all kinds of things. It really is super exhausting to go through the short sale process. So we try to help sellers avoid that if it’s possible with what is owed compared to what we can pay them cash for their home. If you have questions about a home and you’re facing foreclosure in Berks County or the foreclosure process hasn’t started, but you are behind on payments, feel free to give us a call, 610-816-6205, or visit our website, berks610.com to see how we can help evaluate your situation and go the extra mile to help you.