No surprise: Four of the top five questions asked at Bills.com this year had to do with mortgages. In 2009, the San Mateo, Calif.-based web site says its most-asked questions were more diversified. They were about credit cards and 401(k)s and car payments.
But houses and mortgage debt certainly have been the topics of the year. So with a drum roll, here's the most-asked of the almost 3,400 questions posed:
Can my second mortgage lender foreclose if I stay current on my first mortgage but default on my second?
And here's an answer, from me: The second mortgage lender -- for most of us, that's going to be in the form of a home equity line of credit or HELOC - usually has the right to foreclose but may decide not to do it.
Real estate attorney Shari Olefson of Fowler White Boggs in Fort Lauderdale explains, "The reason they don’t often foreclose is because they would take title subject to the first mortgage. One problem is a default on his or her HELOC would probably be considered a default under the terms of the first mortgage – the first could then foreclose if they want to."