Wednesday, January 28, 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 SolanoScene@TJones-Law.com.

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

 
Youngster battles brain cancer a 2nd time

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
2 Solano road projects get green light

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1

 
Rush Ranch seeks docents

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A2

Health officials report 1st Solano flu death

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
Kroc Health Fair offers free screenings

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Frazier schedules coffee in Suisun City

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
Vacaville police to offer law enforcement academy

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

Vanden to host science fair

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

 
Woman with Solano ties caught up in tax fraud case

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4

Coalition members review tobacco control report card

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
 
 
 
American Legion Post schedules head-shaving fundraiser

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

Vacaville Toastmasters welcome guests

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Chipotle fundraiser to benefit Armijo newspaper

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

 
Dramas, thrillers lead week’s box office openings

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B8

 
Fairfield police log: Jan. 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Jan. 24, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Jan. 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 24, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Jan. 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Gold nuggets stolen in smash and grab

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
CSU chancellor looks to increase graduation rates

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Officials lose track of billions in funding

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
Bill would treat e-cigs the same as regular cigarettes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Secret talks in Jordan try to win release of hostages

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

‘Wicked storm': Blizzard drops 2 feet of snow on New England

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
NTSB: Systemic flaws in safety oversight of gas pipelines

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Military has wide discretion on Bergdahl charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

 
Gunmen storm Libya hotel, killing American, 9 others

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Famed civil rights protesters to have arrest records erased

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 28, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscope Jan. 28, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

 
We live close to my nephew but he chooses to remain distant

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

 
10 Things: 10 fresh takes on Super Bowl guacamole

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
.

Entertainment

Christina Aguilera to perform ahead of NBA All-Star Game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Common, John Legend to perform ‘Glory’ at Academy Awards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Katie Holmes to guest on ‘Ray Donovan’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Sports

 
 
Falcon boys drop 69-61 SCAC loss to Bethel

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Local Report: Armijo boys roll past Napa 69-41

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1, 1 Comment

 
Nadal loses; Sharapova to play all-Russian semi in Australia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Belichick and The Beast talk but don’t say much at Media Day

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Deflated topic: air pressure in footballs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1, 1 Comment

Rose’s shot lifts Bulls over Warriors 113-111 in overtime

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Jury convicts 2 ex-Vanderbilt players of raping woman

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rio official says there’s ‘no plan B’ for Olympic sailing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Golfer Allenby stands by story, says truth will come out

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tony Stewart returns with a swagger not seen in 2 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Shooters find not every basketball is same in college game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Patrick heads into 2015 in final season with team, sponsor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Manfred hopeful of A’s getting new ballpark in Oakland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Christina Aguilera to perform ahead of NBA All-Star Game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Super Bowl, Tiger make Phoenix center of sports universe

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Long after Twitter feud, Revis, Sherman pledge respect

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

The distinctive international flavor of Super Bowl Media Day

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Serena Williams advances, Venus out of Australian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Getting fired from New England led to Carroll’s reinvention

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sharks in ‘dogfight’ to secure playoff berth

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 28, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

US home price gains slow in November on weaker sales

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
FTC clears Albertsons’ purchase of Safeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

.

Obituaries

Clarence E. Morgan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Julia P. Tan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Don Johnson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 11 Comments

 
Woodrow Allen Oakley

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Donald Wesley Johnson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6