Understanding The Foreclosure Process Timeline

No one likes the thought of facing foreclosure. However, sometimes there are circumstances that are beyond our control. Job loss, divorce, illness or any number of other issues which could occur without warning. The end result being a time when the borrower fails to pay their mortgage on time or perhaps not at all.

The words mortgage foreclosure will send chills down the spine of most people. There are many different foreclosure laws and the foreclosure process varies from state to state. Therefore, we are going to take a few minutes to go over the foreclosure process with you in an effort to help you better understand the foreclosure process timeline.

Pre-Foreclosure. The first stage in the foreclosure process.
Many people think if their home has gotten to the pre-foreclosure stage, there is nothing they can do to save it. However, nothing could be further from the truth. If you take some time to educate yourself about the foreclosure process, before your home actually goes into foreclosure, you could prevent it from happening at all.

The first step is the receipt of the missed payment notice. This notice will state that you need to make your payment, including late fees, in order to avoid any further action. If you don’t make your payment, the mortgage company will take the next step.

The mortgage company will then send you a notice of default. This notice is sent if your payment is more than 30 days late. If you still don’t pay the balance due on your mortgage, the bank will then proceed to the next step.

Foreclosure. The second stage in the foreclosure process.

The next step is when you receive the actual foreclosure notice. This letter is notifying you that the bank has begun the formal foreclosure proceedings. Your home will then be scheduled for sale at an auction.

Auction. The third stage in the foreclosure process.

If your loan has not been paid and reinstated within the pre-foreclosure timeframe, your home will be put up for auction. An auction will allow potential buyers to bid on your home. The auction price for your home will start at what you owe and bidders can submit their offers from there. At the end of the auction, your home will go to the highest bidder. If your home doesn’t sell at the auction, the lender will then take ownership of the property.


Now the bank owns your home. They will clear the title and make any repairs that are absolutely necessary. The mortgage company will then attempt to sell the property in an effort to recover any unpaid balances.

Foreclosure process timeline.

There was a time when the foreclosure process timeline was pretty similar in most states. However, with the housing market being so unstable, now the foreclosure process varies greatly from state to state. Therefore, it is nearly impossible to predict how long it will take for your home to go through each stage; from the pre-foreclosure through to the auction date.
Options that will help you avoid a possible foreclosure.

The first thing you need to remember is to stay calm. You do have options. It’s easy to panic when the thought of foreclosure is looming over you. However, there are some things you can do to get yourself back on track.

• Try to borrow some money to get your payments up to date.
• Take a look around your house. Sell anything and everything you can to raise enough money to make your payments.
• Talk to your mortgage company about a forbearance plan.
• Check to see if your lender has any mortgage modification programs that will lower your monthly mortgage payments.
• Consider refinancing your home with a new loan.
• Talk to your local real estate agent about selling your home. You can then take the equity from your home and purchase another one that is more affordable.
• Some investors will buy your home then lease it back to you under their lease to own option plan. Just remember to check with your attorney before entering into any investor lease to own programs.
• If you file for bankruptcy, it could allow you to consolidate your debt and pay it off over a set number of years.
• Talk to your mortgage company about a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

Understanding the mortgage foreclosure process is a crucial part of controlling the outcome. You need to educate yourself about the foreclosure timeline. If you want to take command of the situation and avoid a foreclosure altogether, it would behoove you to learn the different options that are available to you.

Find a real estate agent in your local area that specializes in foreclosures. Your realtor will be your best defense in getting through this process with the best possible outcome. So take advantage of their knowledge and years of experience to get you through these trying times.


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