What are a homeowner’s rights in foreclosure?

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What are a homeowner’s rights in foreclosure?

My husband and I had problems making our monthly mortgage on our second home in VT. During the foreclosure our bank had us fill out paperwork where we showed our income was stable again. The house was auctioned and our personal items are still in the house. Is there anything that can be done? I would like the house back and with the new Obama new laws, was this legal for the bank to do?

Asked on April 27, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) You have a right to your personal belongings, but act quickly; the new owner(s) does not have to hold them for you forever, and after a  certain number of weeks, they will be deemed to have been abandoned and can be disposed of. Also, if the items are put into storage (e.g. a self-storage location), the owner(s) can charge you for storage and moving costs to recover them.

2) The Obama laws do not prevent foreclosure and eviction of homeowners.

3) However, fraud has always been illegal. If the bank caused you to fill out inaccurate paperwork in order to carry out the foreclosure, that *may* give you grounds to seek damages or even reverse the foreclosure--though if (a) you'd have been foreclosed anyway (even if the information was accurate), that may not be enough; and (b) if you signed papers you knew were wrong, you may yourself be liable.

You should consult with an attorney who can evaluate all the circumstances and documentation in detail.


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