Deed in Lieu Explained by a Jacksonville Foreclosure Defense Lawyer
A deed in lieu of foreclosure is exactly what the name implies. A homeowner who is threatened with foreclosure after going in to default on the mortgage payments can seek to avert a foreclosure on the mortgage by surrendering the deed to the bank. Instead of carrying out the process of judicial foreclosure, the bank agrees to release the borrower from any further obligation to pay on the home loan. The property, which was pledged as collateral on the value of the mortgage, is transferred back to the lender as full satisfaction of the loan value.
Benefits of Deed in Lieu
Deed in lieu has several advantages over foreclosure for both the borrower and the lender. For you, it means that you can get out of a mortgage that you can no longer afford, and you do not have to live with the serious credit damage caused by foreclosure. Your credit will still suffer if you go into default, but you will at least not have a foreclosure on your report. You also do not have to wait out the lengthy process of judicial foreclosure. The bank can also benefit from the fact that it does not have to pay for the legal fees associated with foreclosure, in addition to the fact that it can usually resell the property more quickly than it would with a foreclosure.
Why You Need an Attorney
Though it is simple on paper, a deed in lieu is actually a complex legal action. It is in your best interest to hire a Jacksonville foreclosure defense lawyer to represent you in negotiations to persuade the bank to accept your request, as well as to assist in drafting and executing the necessary paperwork. For example, your attorney can help by securing the bank's agreement not to hold you liable to pay any deficiency if the resale amount is lower than the sum you still owe on the mortgage.
Tax Consequences of Deed in Lieu
An important note regarding deed in lieu is the fact that, depending on when you complete the process, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may consider the forgiven debt as “income” and hold you responsible to pay tax on the amount. Congress extended the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act until the end of 2013 to waive this requirement, but there is no guarantee that it will be further extended in the future. Contact us at The Law Offices of Justin McMurray, P.A. without delay so that we can begin working on your case and help you move on from this experience.