Real Estate Attorney Explains What Rights Property Owners Have In Sonoma County

While the country has moved out of the height of the Recession, foreclosure is always a real possibility for any homeowner. Foreclosure is a process by which the mortgage lender (your bank) initiates proceedings to take possession of your house to satisfy unpaid debts on the mortgage. While the bank has the right to initiate foreclosure, it cannot simply walk in and change the locks – you have rights. This post will go over your rights, with the help of a real estate attorney in Sonoma County.

Personal Property Valuation

Prior to starting foreclosure, you can ask the mortgage lender to refinance your mortgage based on the value of your personal property. Personal property refers to all of your assets that you can, theoretically, move including clothes, jewelry, books, cash, stocks, bonds, etc. If you have a lot of personal assets, the lender might agree to refinance based on your personal property. Speak to a real estate attorney in Sonoma County for more advice.

Personal Property: Insurance

If you have homeowner’s insurance, you might assume it only insures your real property. However, homeowner’s insurance can also cover your personal property. According to real estate attorneys in Sonoma County, the insurance gives you the right to replace your property (cost of replacement) or to repair your property (cost of repair). However, the rights you possess also depend on the nature of the damage. For example, you will need specialized insurance for earthquake damage.


If you cannot hold off foreclosure, you can declare bankruptcy. Bankruptcy temporarily forestalls lenders from repossessing your home. You can also fight to keep your home in bankruptcy court (no guarantee, but you can usually keep your family home). However, bankruptcy should be last resort because bankruptcy severely damages your credit score.


Finally, banks must provide you with information and cannot conceal anything from you. If you suspect your bank has defrauded you, you may want to hire a real estate attorney in Sonoma County to investigate. Fraud cases are difficult to win (because you have to prove intent) but that doesn’t mean you should roll over and let the bank do whatever it wants.

If you believe your rights as a property owner were violated by your bank, you should contact a real estate attorney in Sonoma County for assistance. Johnston & Associates is a law firm based in Sonoma County that provides a broad range of services, including property rights actions. Contact us today.