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Foreclosure from the tenant's perspective: Honey's story

This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

In November, we thought we'd reached the last straw in terms of the condo we have been renting. We'd had numerous problems with our place and our landlord (namely, not fixing things when they broke -- major or minor). However we ultimately decided that, although the right choice wasn't obvious, there were too many aspects of our lives up in the air to move at that moment.

Then, on December 30, our landlord told us that they weren't going to be able to refinance our property. The condo we live in was going into foreclosure. The auction was scheduled for December 31.

This is my and Jake's foreclosure experience as tenants. As you will see, there are lots of variables when it comes to foreclosures, and "your mileage may vary." Whether you are a tenant or an owner, pay attention to all the documents you are given and consult an attorney or tenant advocate if you have questions about your specific situation.

The first thing you will do is wait. And wait.

Our condo has been on the brink of foreclosure for years. According to MSN, while default technically begins when the first payment is missed, it is usually 90 days before a "notice of default" is given. Even then, the homeowner gets another 90 days, called the reinstatement period, to bring their loan up to date. If that doesn't happen, a trustee's sale is scheduled and the property is auctioned.

We received our first notice of trustee's sale in July 2012, which means at that point our landlord had likely missed 6 months' worth of payments. They were able to bring the home out of foreclosure at that time, though we don't know if they refinanced or what that process was like. Are there any GRS readers who have been through a foreclosure from the owner's side and know how to redeem a property once a trustee's sale has been scheduled? I'd love to see a reader story about this that is more up to date than this GRS foreclosure story from 2008.

We received our next notice of trustee's sale in November 2013, mentioned at the very beginning of this article. However, the trustee's sale was postponed three times before finally taking place in mid-February. During this time we followed the status of the sale of the property on our county recorder's website and on Auction.com.

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