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This question is for someone from Texas. Yes, I know that he shouldn’t do this. I understand that and he understands too but he is stubborn. But this question is about me and my future, not him. My intention was to stay here with him rent-free until I finish grad school. In fact, he is the one that invited me and I would have done the same for him. I am looking for expert opinions concerning how long I can potentially stay here, what to do about the HOA, etc. Expert thoughts?

4 Thoughts on I am staying in my friends house. He has decided to let it foreclose and move away. How long can I stay?
  1. Reply
    February 8, 2014 at 4:02 am

    I’m no expert, and I live in Pennsylvania. What I do know in Pennsylvania, is that it takes a long time for them to foreclose on you. Literally years. At least here. My friends have been losing their house for at least 5 years, they are still living in it. Haven’t paid their mortgage in years.

  2. Reply
    Guess Who
    February 8, 2014 at 4:34 am

    You can stay until the bank tells you to get your behind out of there. It could be tomorrow, or it could be three years from now. Who knows?
    Since the housing crisis are basically over, I would guess it would be closer to tomorrow than three years from now.

    Good luck

  3. Reply
    February 8, 2014 at 5:14 am

    Create a written, annual lease to make yourself a bona fide tenant. When the bank acquires the property you will be protected by the federal Tenant Protection Act. This will permit you to stay up to 90 days, although you may be offered cash for keys to vacate early.


  4. Reply
    February 8, 2014 at 5:56 am

    There’s good news and bad news. The good news is, your friend may be able to get out of this without a foreclosure. The bad news is that unless you can buy this house (probably well under fair market value) you need to find a new place to live, ASAP.

    If there’s any way to talk your friend out of this foreclosure business, please try.

    I worked as a contractor in the default mortgage department of a large bank (foreclosures, short sales, etc.), and I’ll tell you what I’ve learned. First, foreclosure is the absolute worst thing he can do for his credit.

    Because the mortgage crisis was a widespread problem that’s gotten a lot of press, banks have become VERY liberal in allowing short sales and deed-in-lieu to satisfy the mortgage in full, whether the house is worth what he owes on it or not.

    His best bet is to find a real estate attorney. This will cost him a little up front, but will be much better for him in the long run. The attorney will do a few things for him. First, a review of his original mortgage documents. There was a lot of fraudulent loan activity on the part of banks during the housing boom. If the attorney can find anything the bank did wrong, your friend’s pretty much home free.

    If there’s nothing wrong with the documents, the attorney can tell him exactly what he needs to do, as far as keep paying or stop paying, to qualify for the bank’s “loss mitigation” program. What this means is that he can put the house up for sale, and whatever it sells for (with bank approval) will satisfy the mortgage in full. The other option is deed-in-lieu, which means that he signs away any claim he has on the house, and the bank takes over the process of selling it.

    If he absolutely cannot afford an attorney, he needs to contact the bank’s loss mitigation department and try to work it out with them directly. If he’s moving far away from the current house and will not be able to properly care for it while trying to sell, they would often consider this a good reason to allow him a deed-in-lieu.

    The foreclosure process, if he still chooses to go this route, only takes about 41 days from the time he receives the first default notice or “notice to cure.” In regard to the eviction process, eviction starts as soon as the foreclosure is finalized, and only takes 5-10 days. Start to finish is usually less than 60 days.

    There are two more complications you *really* need to know about.

    First, TX is a super-lien state. This means that not just the bank can foreclose on the house. If he doesn’t pay the taxes or the HOA fees, they can also foreclose. So if he’s further behind on his HOA than his mortgage, this is going to get more complicated. His taxes may be escrowed, meaning that the bank pays them and adds the amount to his mortgage payment, but if not, same deal there.

    Second, some of the “property preservation” companies that banks use (the lawn-mowing lock-changing companies) do NOT always go by the letter of the eviction laws. If the come by to do an occupancy inspection (the bank has someone drive by every 2 weeks during the foreclosure/eviction process) and it appears to them that no one is living in the house, they will simply change the locks. Sometimes they leave any remaining stuff inside, sometimes they immediately haul it to the dump. So you need to make it clear that someone is living there, even if that means posting a notice next to the door knob, or there is a chance of coming home to find that someone has taken all your belongings.

    Good luck, hope this helps.

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