Tenants Have Protection in Foreclosures

By Christopher Combs | January 3, 2019

Question: We have been renting a home in Chandler for several years. We just signed another one-year lease. Two nights ago a process server came by and posted a notice of foreclosure in our front yard. Our landlord lives in Chicago and has not returned our phone calls. If our home is sold in foreclosure, when will we have to move? Answer: In general, a federal law protecting tenants in their homes during any foreclosure by the landlord’s mortgage lender has been in effect since 2009, and has been recently renewed with no expiration date. If you are a bona fide…


Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure Should not Prevent a ‘Buy Back’

By Christopher Combs | October 24, 2018

Question: Although home values are increasing in our North Phoenix neighborhood, we are still “underwater” ten years after we purchased our home at the top of the market. Due to medical expenses of one of our children, we are behind on our mortgage payments. Our mortgage company has now agreed to accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure (“DIL”) from us. We still love our home, and in the next few months we should finally be able to sell a lot we own near Flagstaff and have some money. If our mortgage company puts the home back on the market…

Solar Panels Foreclosure

Who Owns Solar Panels after Foreclosure?

By Christopher Combs | July 22, 2018

**Update to this question published on July 15, 2019.** Question: Last month after a bank foreclosure our investor group purchased a home in Apache Junction. The home has solar panels on the roof. We recently received a letter from the attorney for the solar panel company that leased the solar panels to the former owner of the home. The attorney requested a time to come to the home to remove the solar panels. The attorney enclosed with the letter a UCC-1 financing statement that was recorded before the bank’s foreclosure deed to us. Who owns the solar panels now? If…

Mortgage Lender

Mortgage Lender is Entitled to Proceeds from Sale

By Christopher Combs | February 6, 2017

Mortgage Lender is Entitled to Proceeds from Sale   Question: After we refinanced our Glendale home a year ago my husband was injured in a car accident, and was unable to work for three months. We could not make our mortgage payments, and we have now lost our home to foreclosure. Our mortgage lender was the only bidder at the foreclosure sale and now owns our home. In our neighborhood the home prices have been appreciating, and when the mortgage lender sells our home the mortgage lender should be able to make a profit, i.e., sell the home for more…

Mortgage vs. Deed of Trust

Understanding Mortgage vs. Deed of Trust

By Christopher Combs | November 2, 2016

Understanding Mortgage vs. Deed of Trust  Question: In Arizona, a deed of trust can be used as well as a mortgage to secure a loan on a home. Other states use only mortgages. Why does Arizona also have deeds of trust?   Answer: Since 1971 Arizona has had both mortgages and deeds of trust to secure loans on a home (or other real property). Most lenders in Arizona now require a deed of trust rather than a mortgage to secure a loan on a home for two reasons. One, a deed of trust can be foreclosed non-judicially by a trustee’s sale,…

Reverse Mortgage

Reverse Mortgage Obligations

By Christopher Combs | September 20, 2016

Reverse Mortgage Obligations  Question: Six years ago after my father passed away, my mother got a reverse mortgage on their Goodyear home. This reverse mortgage paid off their existing mortgage on the home. My mother’s understanding from the loan officer was that she would never have to make another mortgage payment during her lifetime. Last week she received by certified mail a notice that her home is scheduled for foreclosure. My mother is terrified that she is going to lose her home to foreclosure after she was told that she would never have to make any mortgage payments. How can that…


Can Unpaid HOA Fees Result in Foreclosure?

By Christopher Combs | August 22, 2016

 Can Unpaid HOA Fees Result in Foreclosure?   Question: My grandmother lives in Scottsdale, and my wife and I live in Chicago. We only visit my grandmother two or three times a year. Although we thought my grandmother was still able to manage her financial affairs, she recently called us to say that she was being evicted from her Scottsdale home for non-payment of HOA dues. My grandmother owns her $450,000 home free and clear. My wife and I immediately flew to Scottsdale to try to understand what happened. Several years ago my grandmother apparently failed to pay some HOA…


Foreclosure for Delinquent HOA Dues and Assessments

By Christopher Combs | March 14, 2016

 Foreclosure for Delinquent HOA Dues and Assessments   Question: In our homeowners’ association in North Phoenix there are several “deadbeat” homeowners who have not paid their monthly dues for several months, and who also have not paid the special assessment for our new roads.  We have written numerous letters to these homeowners, but these homeowners are still delinquent.  The result is that the other homeowners have to pay more than their share to make up for these delinquent homeowners. I know that these delinquent homeowners will probably have to pay the delinquent payments when they sell their homes, but is there…