It’s the first Tuesday of the month–and if you’re like most home-owning Georgians your house is NOT on the auction block today at your local court house. Yeah! Safe this month!
But think about the many thousands of home that were auctioned off today.
It’s early afternoon as I write this post, and right about now the “callers” as they are known are wrapping up their monthly ritual of calling out the properties that are being foreclosed today.
Many houses on the auction block will have no buyer and the property will go back to the bank. Other properties will be snapped up a la Saturday’s auction at Atlantic Station.
It’s strange to think that Georgians houses–the single biggest investment most Americans have–can be auctioned off on the court house steps as though the house were a piece of art. So much paperwork and loan verification goes into the process of getting a mortgage, (unless you got your mortgage from Countrywide where apparently no one bothered to check anything about anyone), one would think that it would take more than a bank merely saying “you’re behind” to make it so. This occurs because Georgia allows lenders to foreclose on deeds of trust (aka mortgages) without judicial scrutiny. Our mortgages contain a “power of sale” clause that enable lenders to claim default, notify the debtor, run an ad in the paper, wait a few weeks, and then go get the house.
Realty Trac has a nice chart comparing the process state by state. Georgians take note, our state offers the 2nd fastest process time (Georgia 37 days–Texas 27 days) between the time homeowners are behind on payments, and when they are are out on the street on their behinds.
That’s right, you’ve got about 2 months in Georgia to save your biggest investment. And, there is no right of redemption in Georgia. If you lose your house on the auction block, It’s gone.
Think about this tonight when the estimated $212 jackpot is drawn tonight. The odds of winning will be 1 in 175,711,536 (not good). Let’s hope the winner pays off his or her mortgage with the winnings and doesn’t end up in the same position as recent winners of Exteme Makeover–Georgians whose Clayton County house is on the auction block today.
Consulting with a bankruptcy attorney before it gets out of hand. There are defenses to foreclosure and a qualified attorney will help you figure out what options you might have.