Foreclosure Timeline

Foreclosure Timeline

by Brian Bagnall

The following timeline is only a general guideline for an unopposed residential foreclosure case. The time frame for your case may be different.

Third Missed Payment
Usually after the third missed payment, the loan is sent to the lender’s attorney for foreclosure. A foreclosure action is a lawsuit filed to end your interest in your property and to terminate your mortgage. After the lender’s attorney receives the referral package, he orders a title report. A title report is a document that states who owns title to the property, any outstanding deeds of trust or mortgages on the property, as well as any liens, covenants, or other restrictions that may exist on the property.

30 days later
The lender’s attorney reviews the title report and drafts the Foreclosure Complaint (a court document stating that you have not paid your mortgage for a certain amount of time and the property is not being offered for foreclosure) plus supporting documentation such as a Summons (a court order that you appear in court at a certain day and time). The lender’s attorney reviews the title report to determine if you have any other mortgages on your property or if a mechanics lien has been filed. A mechanics lien is a claim against your property usually filed by a workman because you failed to pay him for work done on your home.

7 days later
The Foreclosure Complaint is filed in court and the summons is placed for service. A Lis Pendens is recorded with the Recorder of Deeds. A Lis Pendens is a document that is filed with the recorder of deeds which prevents you from selling your home until the foreclosure case is completed.

Within 60 days
The Foreclosure Complaint is served on all parties by the Sheriff, a special process server or by publication in the newspaper.

14 days later
The lender’s attorney reviews the court file to verify that all parties have been served and sends notice of motion (a court appearance requesting entry of a certain judgment, in this case a Foreclosure Judgment). You will be notified of your court date and should appear in court on that date. At any point after being served with the summons but before your first court date within 90 days of service of the summons, you may reinstate your mortgage. You reinstate your mortgage by paying all the money you owe on the mortgage and all costs and fees. This remedy may not be available to you again for five (5) years if you get behind in your mortgage again.

At your court date, one of several things could happen:

* The court could set your case for trial, if you have some defense available to you.

* The parties could agree to a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure. A Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure means that you give your interest in the property to the mortgage company and the mortgage company agrees to not continue the foreclosure case against you. A Deed in Lien of Foreclosure relieves you of any further obligations in case the sale price of your property does not cover what you owe on your mortgage.

* The parties could agree to a Consent Foreclosure. A Consent Foreclosure gives your mortgage company a complete interest in your property and the mortgage company cannot obtain a personal judgment against you if your property was not worth what you owed. You also lose all rights to redeem or reinstate your mortgage as explained in this section.

21 to 60 days later
If you lose at trial or you do not agree to a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure or a Consent Foreclosure, in most circumstances a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale (formally declaring that you no longer own the property or have any interest in the property) will be entered against you in court.

Once a Judgment of Foreclosure is entered your redemption period (when you can regain interest in your property if you pay off the past due amount of your property within a certain amount of time) begins and expires: 7 months from the date of service of the foreclosure complaint if the home is occupied by the mortgagor; 6 months from the date of service if the home is not occupied by the mortgagor; or 3 months from the date the judgment is entered, whichever is later.
In order to redeem your mortgage, you need to pay the amount of the judgment of foreclosure, which includes all principal and interest owed under the mortgage, all costs allowed by law, costs and expenses approved by the court, any additional costs approved by the court, any senior liens, and the per diem interest amount.

Within 7 days after the redemption period expires
The foreclosure sale (of your property) occurs. The mortgage company must follow certain procedures before the foreclosure sale can occur. A notice of sale must be published at least three (3) consecutive calendar weeks, once per week. The first notice must be forty-five (45) days before the sale and the last seven (7) days before the sale. The notice may be published during the redemption period.

21 days later
A court will usually confirm a foreclosure sale unless you can prove one of the following:
* Proper notice was not given
* The terms of the sale were unconscionable
* The sale was conducted fraudulently
* That justice was not otherwise done
If the sale price is less than the amount required to redeem the property and the mortgage company itself purchased your property, you have a special right to redeem. This special right to redeem expires 30 days after the sale is confirmed. In order to exercise this right, you must pay the sale price, any additional costs and expenses approved by the court and any interest.

30 days later
You no longer have the right to stay in the property and the mortgage company can ask the court to have the sheriff remove you from the property if you do not do so voluntarily.

45 days later
The eviction process normally takes forty-five (45) days but could be shorter. At that time, the sheriff can come to your property and forcibly remove you.

After Property is Vacant
The foreclosure deed, which is a written document stating that your property has been foreclosed, is recorded so that it is a matter of public record.