I owe more on my vacant land than it is worth. What kind of attorney can help me with a default.

If I default on my vacant land will I be liable for the balance?

Asked on June 3, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You *may* be liable for the balance owed if you default on your vacant land: it is not automatic that you'd be liable, but the lender has the right to sue you for what is called a "deficiency judgment"--i.e. for the difference between what you owe and what the land brings in after being foreclosed upon. For relatively small amounts or if you look like you're insolvent, they may not bother; for larger amounts, if you look like you could pay, they may well do so. I
If you owe more than the land is worth, a lawyer can't really help you--there really isn't any legal defense. Of course, a lawyer could try to negotiate with the lender for you, but since you have the right to negotiate directly with a lender, it's not clear that adding a lawyer to the mix will be worth the legal fees.

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