Foreclosure sign

Mortgage Lender After Foreclosure is Entitled to Sale Proceeds

By Christopher Combs | December 17, 2023

Question: For the last few years my mother has been struggling with competency issues. Although we try to help her, we live in Buffalo.  She apparently did not make her mortgage payments, and there has been a foreclosure sale on her Ahwatukee home. The mortgage lender was the only bidder at the foreclosure sale, and now owns her Ahwatukee home.  In her neighborhood the home prices have been appreciating, and when the mortgage lender sells the home, the mortgage lender should be able to sell the home for much more than the amount of the mortgage loan and the foreclosure…


Renters Have Protections After Foreclosure

By Christopher Combs | October 31, 2021

Question: In a recent column you said that, after a foreclosure sale of a home, the investor who purchased the home could “evict the tenant and then sell the home as quickly as possible.” The Protecting Tenants In Foreclosure Act, however, was reinstated by Congress in 2018. This Act provides most tenants with rights to remain in the home after an investor purchases a home at a foreclosure sale. Answer: Thank you for your comments. Rather than “tenant” the answer should have said “the homeowner who is now a tenant” can be evicted after the foreclosure sale. Under the Protecting…

Carryback loan on land

Weighing Options for Seller with Carryback Loan on Land

By Christopher Combs | February 28, 2021

Question: In one of your columns a buyer had purchased forty acres of land in northern Arizona (“Forty Acres”) with financing for the purchase of this Forty Acres by a seller-carryback $200,000 five-year mortgage loan. After five years, however, there had been none of the anticipated development in the area, and the Forty Acres was only worth $100,000. In your column you said that the seller could choose not to foreclose on the Forty Acres, but could file a lawsuit against the buyer for the failure to pay the $200,000 promissory note. In my opinion, however, after the seller sues…

open land

Mortgage Lender Generally has the Right to Either Foreclose or Sue

By Christopher Combs | November 15, 2020

Question: We bought forty acres of land in Coconino County five years ago for $200,000. We made a $20,000 cash down payment, and the seller did seller carryback financing of $180,000, plus ten percent interest, all due in five years. Although the forty acres of land in Coconino County was to be part of a large development of homes, five years later the forty acres of land is basically worthless. We have tried several times to negotiate the balloon payment of $180,000 with the seller. The seller has refused to negotiate with us, and now has filed a lawsuit against…

Foreclosure auction

Foreclosure Proceeds After HOA Foreclosure

By Christopher Combs | September 6, 2020

Question: Thank you for your recent column on the right of an HOA to foreclose on a home for nonpayment of $3,000 in delinquent HOA dues. In your example the house was owned free and clear, and was valued at $185,000. My question is, after the foreclosure sale, would the HOA get the entire $185,000 foreclosure sale proceeds, or would the HOA only get the $3,000 delinquent HOA dues, and the homeowner would get the remaining $182,000? Answer: There are sophisticated investors who daily look at foreclosure notices that schedule foreclosures of homes. These investors then compare the value of…

Mortgage repayment failure

Statute of Limitations for HELOCs

By Christopher Combs | July 26, 2020

Question: When we bought our Chandler home in 2006, we got a 30-year first mortgage with Bank of America, and a Wells Fargo $100,000 second mortgage home equity line of credit (“Wells Fargo HELOC”). We used this $100,000 for a swimming pool and for landscaping in our back yard. In 2011 we both lost our jobs and we had financial difficulties. Although we were able to keep our first Bank of America mortgage current, we stopped paying our Wells Fargo HELOC. Last week we received a letter from an attorney that our Wells Fargo HELOC balance is $160,000, and that…


HOA Can Foreclose on Home for Unpaid Dues

By Christopher Combs | May 24, 2020

Question: Our mother has been struggling with dementia that has worsened over the last year. We recently moved her from her Mesa home to an assisted living facility in Gilbert. The Mesa home is both a physical disaster (with numerous repairs necessary) and an HOA paperwork disaster. The HOA dues total more than $3,000, and have not been paid by my mother for over a year. In addition, there are numerous unpaid HOA fines of more than $2,000 for overnight parking in the street and for not making repairs to the exterior of the home. The HOA’s management company has…

Construction loan

“Walking Away” From Construction Disaster

By Christopher Combs | February 23, 2020

Question: In 2016 we bought a lot for $40,000 in Camp Verde to build a summer home. Last summer we got a construction loan for $280,000. This $280,000 construction loan was secured by the lot and by the home to be constructed on the lot. During construction of the home, however, heavy rains caused the foundation to sink and the partially built home to collapse. Almost all of the $280,000 loan had been used for the construction of the home. Our contractor has no insurance and our insurance company has denied coverage because we didn’t go to Camp Verde to…