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What Is Cash for Keys?

Feb. 21, 2021

How would you like to get some cash from your mortgage company? That's right, instead of you paying your mortgage company, you might be able to get your mortgage company to pay you. We have had mortgage companies pay our clients a nice sum of money by using a program that is sometimes referred to as Cash for Keys, or sometimes they call it Reimbursement for Relocation Expenses.

This program is most typically for people who haven't been able to pay their mortgage payments, and they are prepared to just give up and walk away from their home. It's important to realize that when a mortgage company in New Jersey has to file a foreclosure and take a customer to a sheriff's sale, this involves a lengthy and costly process. About ten years ago I was at a bankruptcy seminar, and a speaker who handled foreclosures for Wells Fargo told us that the bank typically loses $40,000 or more on every foreclosure.

In previous blogs I have talked about how homeowners can fight and delay the foreclosure process. The more the homeowners fight and delay, the more costs are incurred by the mortgage companies. So what if a homeowner doesn't want to fight and delay the foreclosure? Instead, he'd like to cooperate with the mortgage company. He'd like to move out soon and turn over the property to them in perfect condition.

Well, that's the type of conduct that should be rewarded, don't you think? And sure enough, many mortage companies are willing to pay homeowners some money if they will voluntarily leave and turn over the property to the mortgage company. The better the condition of the property, the more the mortgage company will probably be willing to pay.

Some homeowners want to leave quicker than others, and the timing of the process could very well affect how much money the mortgage company is willing to pay the homeowner.

In previous blogs, I have advised homeowners that they didn't have to leave right after a sheriff's sale, and that they could often remain in their homes for weeks or even months after the sale. What I didn't realize until just a few years ago was that the mortgage companies seem to be willing to pay former homeowner's for leaving after the sheriff's sale has taken place. I guess the mortgage companies figure that once a person has lost their home to a sheriff's sale, if they are going to be forced out of their home, they just might not give a darn and they may just totally trash the place. So I guess the mortgage companies figure it's a win/win situation if they offer the former homeowner a reasonable amout of money to move out voluntarily and leave the place in great shape.

So whether it's before or after a sheriff's sale, keep in mind that it could be possible to persuade the mortgage company to give you some Cash for Keys or Reimbursement for Moving Expenses if you are willing to voluntarily turn the property over to the mortgage company and leave the property in really good condition.

It doesn't matter that you haven't made a payment to the mortgage company for months or even years. In many ways you are doing them a big favor by moving out voluntarily, so I think you should attempt to negotiate with them and try to get as much money from them as you possibly can. I suppose if you can give them some proof as to what it is going to cost you to move and to leave the home in great shape, that would be a good starting point for talking turkey.

I've been able to negotiate some deals for some clients in the past, so if you'd like my help, feel free to call me.

We are here to help, and we wish you all the best.