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Foreclosure Timelines

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Foreclosure timelines are different in all 50 states. Below is a general understanding of the foreclosure timeline. Check with your states foreclosure laws for more information.

A foreclosure is initiated as soon as the borrower fails to make monthly payments to the lender. Although the first payment missed technically triggers default, many lenders do not begin foreclosure practically until the third missed payment.

Pre-Foreclosure Process – Once you miss the first mortgage payment, the pre-foreclosure period begins. This period tends to vary with each lender and borrower. Generally, your lender may take two or more months to start foreclosure.

Day 1 + Borrower is late on payments – The 1st mortgage payment is missed. Your mortgage lender may contact you by phone or mail and late charges will be assessed.

Day 30 + Second Mortgage Payment Missed – Your mortgage lender will be calling you asking why mortgage payments have not been made. It is critical for homeowners to take these lender calls and explain your financial situation. Now that your first mortgage payment was missed, you will receive a 30 day late on your credit which will crush your credit score. Even with established credit, a late mortgage should be avoided at all costs.

Day 60 + Late Payments – After the 3rd Mortgage payment is missed, you will receive a demand letter or notice to accelerate from the lender telling you how much you are delinquent and that you have 30 days to bring your mortgage up to date. If you do not pay the set amounts or make arrangements by the established date, your lender may state the foreclosure process. You still have time to work out an arrangement with your lender before the foreclosure proceedings starts.

Day 90+ Late Payments –The 4th mortgage payment is missed and you are now at the end of your demand letter or notice to accelerate due date. If you still have not paid the full amount or made arrangements with the lender, you will be referred to the lenders attorney. Depending on which state the house is located in, the lender might record an official notice of foreclosure at a local courthouse, print details of the debt in the newspaper, and attend hearings on the case. This is called a notice of default (NOD) in some states. From this point, you usually have less than 90 days to redeem the loan. 

Day 150+ – Notice of Trustee’s Sale or Sheriff’s Sale is Filed:  The lender or lenders attorney is entitled to record a Notice of Trustee’s Sale or Sheriff’s Sale. The notice provides a date, time, and place of the Trustee’s Sale or Sheriff’s Sale. It is recorded, advertised in the local newspaper, posted on the door of the house and mailed to the homeowners. At this point, time is of the essence and there could be as little as 2 weeks left to keep the house until it goes to auction. Once the sale takes place, the house goes to the lender or highest bidder and the house is no longer owned by the borrower.

Redemption Period – A redemption period is the time after your home has been sold at a Public Trustee's or Sheriff's Sale, but you can still reclaim your house. The only way to reclaim your house during the redemption period is by paying the full outstanding mortgage balance and all costs incurred during the foreclosure process. Many states do have a redemption period and is determined by whether the foreclosure is judicial or non-judicial. Note -  The best choice for a homeowner is to stay in contact with your lender. Stay away from companies promising loan modifications for large up-front fees.

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What are your options?

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Foreclosure timelines

Late on payments? Know the foreclosure timeline in California.

Is your home about to go to auction? Avoid foreclosure by knowing the commoon foreclosure timelines. Learn More