Q: I am a co-borrower on a mortgage in Georgia but not on the deed. What liability will I have if the house is foreclosed?
The primary borrower does not expect me to contribute financially to the mortgage, but I know that if the house is foreclosed I will still be liable. What are the general procedures during foreclosure in Georgia, and where would be the best place to put my assets to reduce the risk of losing them during the foreclosure process? When is it better to declare bankruptcy vs. pay whatever the mortgage company asks for? At what point in the foreclosure process would I be required to pay and/or would my bank accounts be blocked and wages garnished? To what extent will mortgage insurance required by the lender reduce the amount I might be required to pay? The house was appraised at <300k in 2021.
A: The foreclosure process in Georgia is relatively quick and straightforward. The primary steps are a notice of foreclosure is sent to borrowers/owners at least 30 days before the scheduled foreclosure sale, the notice of sale is published for the 4 weeks immediately preceding the sale, and finally the public sale occurs on the courthouse steps of the county where the property is located. Oftentimes, lenders do not seek to collect a deficiency (the difference between the amount due and the value of the home), but if they do, there are very specific procedures they must follow. I recommend you speak with an attorney about the specifics of your case to get personalized advice.
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