Written by attorney Douglas Gist Farquhar

Cash for keys is still available after foreclosure and my advice to is get that cash!

How many times does someone hand you cash? I'm sure it's not often but it is the case that lenders are offering cash for keys after a foreclosure. You may or may not be upset about the foreclosure and you may actually be relieved that the process is all over. You may have tried a short sale that failed (or you may have never attempted one) and now the foreclosure sale has taken place and you are being contacted by the new owner of your property to find out from you what your plans are.

Remember that this new owner will have to evict you legally before he can get you out of this house that you formerly owned even though he is the new legal owner of the property. He cannot throw you into the street. There is no "self-help" allowed and the only way a new owner can get you out of your former home is through the eviction process. You are no squatter. You originally entered the property legally. You are the former owner with the legal right to be there until a judge evicts you in court.

In California eviction means that the landlord has to give you a 3 day notice, followed by a filing of an unlawful detainer action, followed by a trial, followed by a sheriff who will actually remove you. This all takes time and money. To get you out will take around 4 to 6 weeks depending on how behind the courts and the sheriffs are. In addition he has to hire attorneys, pay filing fees, and wait until the process finishes.

Or he can pay you money. The going rate is about $3000 so don't sell cheap. Many of my clients have been offered and have received this money. It will cost the landlord almost that much to proceed with and eviction plus there is the time involved. The landlord may ask you to leave quickly (like in a week) but you can always try to negotiate for more time. Just don't scare him off so he doesn't pay you. Remember though that he will know the costs of legally removing you and that is your leverage.

You have a legal right to be in this home until he goes through the lengthy and costly legal process of removing you. You can remind him of that if it helps the negotiations but always remember that you have legal rights. If you don't exercise them you will lose them. You will be saving him time and money if you get out quickly with no hassles for $3000.

An extra $3000 can help a lot with bills and getting a new place. If you can get more time then do so but if not then I suggest you take the money.

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