Thursday, March 5, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Can I be sued for walking away from mortgage?

By
From page C2 | February 09, 2013 |

Q: I read your column some time ago when somebody who walked away from their house got sued by the bank for the money the bank lost after the foreclosure. Now I’m trying to figure out how to get out from under this giant mortgage. I got a loan modification earlier this year, but it just wasn’t enough help. It’s not that I don’t want to keep paying. But I can’t afford to keep doing it. I’m afraid I have the type of loans that a bank can sue on. But I’ve read all the paperwork three times and can’t find where it talks about the ability to sue me at all. My simple question is, what am I looking for in the paperwork?

A:  The answer of whether or not you can get sued is not in any of your loan paperwork. It’s a matter of California law.

You knew the answer wasn’t going to be simple.

Regular readers should recall that the basic question has been addressed many times in this column over the past several years. The reason it keeps coming up is because the answer is not only far from simple, it keeps changing.

Without rehashing the standard rules, all of which are subject to exceptions, let me address your question directly.

There are three facts, at least for starters, I’d need to know about your home, your mortgages and your modification before I could give you a definite answer.

I’m assuming, for the sake of this column, that you live in the property. That means the loans, at  one time, were purchase money loans.

Purchase money loan is a legal term of art. It refers to the original loan or loans placed on a residential property the buyer intends to live in and are for the purpose of acquiring the property.

Purchase money loans are said to be nonrecourse, meaning the bank can’t sue for any money it loses during a foreclosure or short sale.

Almost everyone who bought a home to live in had a purchase money loan at one time, which leads to the second fact I’d need to know.

Have you refinanced one or both of your mortgages prior to getting a loan modification?

In most cases where a loan modification has been granted, no matter how insignificant the modification was, the answer is no.

Typically, loan modifications are given to people who bought at the height of the market and/or have crazy loans that are getting ready to reset to a much higher rate. It indicates the bottom fell out of the market before the homeowner had a chance to refinance into a conventional loan.

So I’m going to assume your loans are original.

The problem, and the great unknown here, is whether the loan modification resulted in a refinance under the law. Generally they don’t, but there are exceptions.

It’s all determined by the paperwork your lender had you execute to get the modification. There won’t be anything in there specifically, but the types of papers will give clues as to whether or not the nature, and therefore your liability, changed.

There are many types of liability in our current real estate world. Frankly, of more concern right now are tax liability issues which have changed this year. And, unlike legal liability issues, some of the answers remain far from clear.

My point is that it’s complicated and, I’m afraid, getting even more complicated.

See, I told you it wouldn’t be simple.

Tim Jones is a real estate attorney in Fairfield. If you have any real estate questions you would like answered in this column you can contact Tim at [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Show resilience in the face of adversity

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

 
Students sample industry choices during school career fair

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Real McCoy II Ferry set for maintenance

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

 
Vacaville police slate annual awards ceremony

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

Limited damage to apartment from carport fire

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Friday concert benefits Families Helping Families

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Vallejo police arrest 4 in connection with 3 killings

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
National Red Cross Month celebrates heroes

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Il Fiorello schedules citrus class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Jury convicts ex-con who served as own lawyer

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4

 
Red Carpet Gala to benefit theater foundation

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Pet remembrance event set in Vallejo

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Suisun City police log: Tuesday, March 3, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Fairfield police log: Tuesday, March 3, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
.

US / World

 
Justices sharply divided over health care law subsidies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Children in Southern California breathing easier, study says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Failures by 3 governments preceded homeless man’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Second Los Angeles hospital reports ‘superbug’ infections

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
California lawmaker pushes child care worker vaccinations

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Obama signs Homeland Security funding bill into law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

House panel issues subpoena for Clinton’s personal emails

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
 
A defiant Alabama regains ground against gay marriage

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

How much sugar is in that? 7 foods with added sugar

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Microsoft co-founder says he found sunken Japan WWII warship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Coal mine blast kills at least 24 in war-torn east Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

.

Living

Today in History: March 5, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: March 5, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: March 5, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
I can’t tell if I still want to be married, or just don’t want to be alone

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

DiCaprio partners with Netflix for series of documentaries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ tops MTV Movie Awards nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Glen Campbell children fighting wife’s control of affairs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
.

Sports

 
Posey has 2-run double in Giants’ 9-2 loss to A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Local report: Vanden softball slips by Rodriguez with late run

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Curry shoots Warriors to 102-93 victory over Bucks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Former player Nate Jackson calls for NFL to allow marijuana

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Phoenix to install tire barriers before NASCAR visit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Pirelli sticks with same tire choices for first 4 F1 races

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP Source: Peyton Manning returning for 18th NFL season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NCAA reports big jump in home runs with new flat-seam ball

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

MLS, players agree in principle to 5-year deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Prosecutors can’t bring up Florida shooting in ex-NFLer case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Vikings agree to trade Cassel to Bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Scott opens a season of change at Doral

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

‘It WAS him': Defense admits Tsarnaev bombed Boston Marathon

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
With Peterson’s status in question, Vikings pay a visit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NFL stadium supporters in LA suburb file ballot paperwork

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Alex Johnson, AL batting champ in 1970, dies at age 72

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Goodell: NFL responsible for Super Bowl seating problems

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Aaron D. Malave

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Thelma A. Roche

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Cesar Luis Garcia-Regalado

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Rodolfo Landabora Porquez

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

.

Comics

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9