Crescent City Real Estate News: Cash For Keys

Cash For Keys

Cash For Keys is a program used by banks to vacate the occupants of foreclosed properties.  The bankcash for keys offers money, anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to several thousand, in order to get the occupants to vacate and leave the home clean and in good condition.

Occasionally a homeowner or tenant takes out their frustration with the foreclosure process on the home itself, trashing the premises, incurring clean-up and repair costs for the bank.  The Cash for keys program utilizes a contract signed by the bank and the homes occupants stating that the occupants will vacate the home on a specified date and leave the premises in broom swept condition.  Usually the contract will add that all personal property will be removed and that the homeowner/tenant gives up all rights to the home and any property they leave behind. 

The real estate agent, working on behalf of the bank, shows up with the signed contract on the specified date, checks to be sure the home is left in the contracted condition, and hands the occupant a check as the occupant hands the agent the keys to the home, hence "cash for keys." 

I have been involved with Cash for Keys several times and in every instance, the occupant was grateful to receive cash to vacate and left the home in good condition.  The cash for keys amount is negotiable.  Generally a homeowner/tenant will try negotiate an amount that will cover the rent, deposit and moving expenses to move to a new location.  As long as the homeowner/tenant is reasonable, the bank is willing to negotiate an amount that will get the occupant to their new location.  This saves the bank the cost of having to clean-up the property, repair damage done by bitter or angry occupants, and the cost of eviction.

Cash for keys can assist the homeowner/tenant in their relocation and spare them from having their credit tarnished with an eviction. 

It isn't a perfect solution, but if you find yourself in a bank owned property with no money for moving expenses, it may be a lifesaver.

If you are a homeowner facing foreclosure, call your lender right away and ask for a loan modification.  Banks are not in the business of owning homes and are becoming much more agreeable to loan modifications and work-out plans to keep the owner in the home and avoid the very expensive and lengthy foreclosure process.

Statistics show that the majority of homeowner's never contact their lender even though they know they may lose their home.  Don't be one of them.  Be pro-active and CALL YOUR LENDER.




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Comment balloon 2 commentsFran Gatti • March 25 2009 11:05PM


keys for a check which will have an immediate stop placed on it. you're better off waiting to be hauled out at gunpoint by heavily armed police. do you really think a bank is going to pay you to leave their property. they'd rather you be killed resisting the police at which point you're not a problem anymore, for the cost of a bullet and some inbred police officer gets a pat on the back for offing a lowlife scumbag who tried to get something for free.  

Posted by mike augustine almost 8 years ago


I have handed at least 10, if not more, Cash For Keys checks to occupants of foreclosures in the last 12 months and seriously do not know what you are talking about.  Yes, I do think a bank is going to pay you to leave their property. It's far cheaper than an eviction, leaves the property free of garbage and in somewhat clean condition, also saving the bank from the cost of doing a trash out. 

I do not like telling tenants and former homeowners for that matter that they have to leave the home, but at least I'm handing them the money to put a first month rent payment and deposit on another place.  If they opted out of the CFK money, they would be evicted and have nothing.

Who are you anyway?

Posted by Fran Gatti, Managing Principal Broker - RE/MAX Integrity (RE/MAX Integrity) almost 8 years ago