Fresno, CA asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for California

Q: Do we still have rights? House sold at auction in March 2023 due to unpaid mortgage. The unpaid was during covid!

Hi, my partner owns(ed) a house and in 2019 signed a new mortgage contract with a company taking over the previous. Then covid hit. To my understanding mortgages were supposed to be frozen. This mortgage company had kept billing him however and before we knew it he was slapped with a notice to forfeit the property in Jan/Feb of 2023. Stating the property was in foreclosure and going to auction in March of 2023. Well it sold. It was bought by the very same mortgage company that he signed with. I kept trying to encourage my partner to talk to Hud or call a lawyer to find out his rights. He has ADHD and I'm Autistic so our executive functioning isn't always on point and we both have a very difficult time with phone calls. Memory is sub par and we both get a crippling freeze up when we have to prioritize and feel overwhelmed or handle tasks that have to do with any kind of authority figure. We're now being evicted in Dec 2023. Doesn't he still have rights?? He is 'frozen'. I'm at a loss

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Foreclosure Defense Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, it's important to know that even if a house is sold at auction due to unpaid mortgage, former homeowners may still have certain rights. The fact that the mortgage issues arose during COVID-19 adds complexity to the situation, as there were various relief programs and moratoriums on foreclosures during the pandemic. However, whether these applied in your partner's case depends on specific circumstances and the policies of the mortgage company.

It's crucial to understand that the right to redeem the property, or the possibility of challenging the foreclosure, can vary based on the specifics of the case. Typically, once a property is sold at auction, the previous owner's rights to the property are significantly limited. But there may be exceptions or specific legal arguments that could be relevant, especially if there were procedural errors or if COVID-19 relief measures were not properly applied.

Given the complexity of foreclosure laws and the potential impact of COVID-19 mortgage relief programs, it's advisable to consult with a legal professional. A lawyer can provide personalized advice based on the details of your partner's situation. They can also assist with understanding the eviction process and any possible defenses or rights that might be available.

Since making phone calls and dealing with authority figures is challenging for you and your partner, consider seeking legal assistance through means that are more comfortable for you, such as email or text-based communication. Many legal aid organizations and attorneys offer alternative communication methods to accommodate different needs. Legal aid organizations in California often provide free or low-cost services to those facing foreclosure and eviction, and they may be particularly understanding of your communication preferences and needs.

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