Each foreclosure situation is different. Historically, the market value of property was greater than the balance of all mortgages. In normal times, the sales price minus the repossession and liquidation costs was more than the outstanding balance. In recent times with the drop in market prices, the balance of the mortgage(s) exceeds the value of the property. In this situation, the foreclosure and subsequent sale will result in a deficiency balance. The homeowner has liability for the deficiency balance, except in states that outlaw the collection of deficiency balances.