Cash For Keys Timing

Hello Again, Folks!

I’m back with more cash for keys information, as I’ve gotten a lot of questions about this one aspect: “what if I move out before the foreclosure occurs? Can I still get cash for keys?” The answer is an unequivocal NO. Let me explain.

If you move out of the home, it is then vacant. Lenders simply will not pay you cash for keys if you’re already gone and your stuff is already gone. Why would they? They have what they want. A vacant home that just needs cleaned up and gotten ready for market.  So, let me be clear (as Obama says), IF YOU MOVE OUT BEFORE THE FORECLOSURE DATE YOU WILL NOT GET CASH FOR KEYS. Now hang in with me here for a sec, as this can get a little complicated.

See, those last, combative conversations you had with your lender before the foreclosure occurred? You know, the one you had shortly after some local attorneys posted a foreclosure sale notice on your door? In that conversation, you probably heard something like this:

“Yes sir. I’m sorry, but your loan modification has been denied, and the foreclosure auction can no longer be postponed. The is coming straight from the investor. You’ll need to pack up all your personal belongings and be out of the home before the foreclosure, because the sheriff WILL come to your home and change your locks. “

“No, sir. We do not offer cash for keys to help you move. I’m truly sorry.”

The problem with this is that it is simply not true. Let me repeat that: You have been misled. Can the sheriff come to your home and change your locks and remove your stuff? Absolutely, but only after a month of litigation and a judge’s court order is issued. You cannot, under any circumstances, be forced out of your home in 5 days. It is simply not gonna happen. Lender representatives will mislead you all day long to the contrary, but do not be fooled!


Let us discuss the spirit of the law. It is true that once the foreclosure auction occurs,  you no longer own the home, and are now an “illegal occupant”. That does not mean you have to leave right away, it simply means that you should. If you are determined to get cash for keys, or you truly need cash for keys in order to move, you’ll need to stay put! In other words, you’ll have to violate the spirit of the law, in order to reap the benefits of having done so . . .kinda strange, huh? Kinda like the old line from you lender: “We can’t offer you help until you stop making your payments.”

So, if you want the cash for keys, your only option is to stay in the home until a lender representative contacts you. Only then will you be offered cash for keys. Referring back to a previous article I wrote, remember to make it really easy for the lender’s rep to contact you. Best practice is to post your own notice on the front door that says something like this:



Dear Lender Representative,

My name is YOUR NAME HERE. I am currently residing in this property, whose address is 12345 N 12th Court Patch, CA. If you have any questions about this home and its occupancy status, please contact me directly by one of the methods identified below:

Phone: 555-555-5555

Fax:     555-556-6666



Thank you,




Have Questions? Answers are Always Free.

By Phone: (602) 499-4798

Or by Email:


*Disclaimer: We DO provide loan counseling services and process short sales for our clients, but we DO NOT charge fees. Please also remember: I am NOT an attorney, and neither do I play one on TV or the Internet. None of my opinions should be construed as specific legal advice. If you need specific legal advice regarding your personal situation, please ask.



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