Going through a foreclosure is a difficult and often draining process for any person. If you are facing foreclosure on your home, your stress is amplified by the thought of losing your home. Foreclosure litigation is a specialized area of the law that requires an experienced attorney to handle it. Experianced attorneys rely upon a combination of legal tools, tactics and transactions to help resolve your financial crisis. Foreclosure litigation may include direct negotiations with your lender seeking options to avoid foreclosure. If you are in need of assistance related to foreclosure litigation or simply have questions, contact experianced attorney who may be able to help you to save your home.
These are the main steps in a nonjudicial foreclosure, which apply to the majority of foreclosures in California.
- The lender MUST contact you and anyone else on the mortgage loan to assess your financial situation and explore your options to avoid foreclosure (called a “foreclosure avoidance assessment”). The lender:
- Cannot start the foreclosure process until at least 30 days after contacting you to make this assessment; and
- Must advise you during that first contact that you have the right to request another meeting about how to avoid foreclosure. That meeting must be scheduled to take place within 14 days.
- You can authorize an attorney, HUD-certified housing counseling agency, or other advisor to talk on your behalf with the lender about ways to avoid foreclosure. You cannot be forced to accept any plan that your representative and the lender come up with during that discussion.
- If you and the lender have not worked out a plan to avoid foreclosure, the lender can record a Notice of Default in the county where your home is located, at least 30 days after contacting you for the foreclosure avoidance assessment. This marks the beginning of the formal and public foreclosure process. The lender sends you a copy of this notice by certified mail within 10 business days of recording it. You then have 90 days from the date that the Notice of Default is recorded to “cure” (fix, usually by paying what is owed) the default.
- WARNING: Since the Notice of Default is recorded as a public document, many fraudulent companies and scam artists search the public records to send defaulted borrowers offers to “help” them avoid losing their homes to foreclosure. These fraudulent companies could take your money and then do nothing to help. There are free services available from government and nonprofit organizations to help borrowers
- If you do not pay what you owe, a Notice of Sale is recorded (at least 90 days after the Notice of Default is recorded). The Notice of Sale states that the trustee will sell your home at auction in 21 days.
The Notice of Sale must:
- Be sent to you by certified mail.
- Be published weekly in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where your home is located for 3 consecutive weeks before the sale date.
- Be posted on your property, as well as in a public place, usually at your local courthouse.
- Have the date, time, and location of the foreclosure sale; the property address; the trustee’s name, address, and phone number; and a statement that the property will be sold at a public auction.
- At least 21days after the date when the Notice of Sale is recorded the property can be sold at a public auction. The successful bidder must pay the full amount of the bid immediately with cash or a cashier’s check. The successful bidder gets a trustee’s deed once the sale is complete. The lender usually bids at the auction, in the amount of the balance due plus the foreclosure costs. If no one else bids, your home goes to the lender.
Stopping the Foreclosure Sale
You have up until 5 days before the foreclosure sale to cure the default and stop the process. This is called “reinstatement” of the loan. During the 21-day period after the Notice of Sale is recorded, any person or institution (like a bank) with an interest in your home has the right to redeem the home up until the nonjudicial foreclosure sale/auction. This means that they must pay the entire loan in full.
After the Foreclosure
Whoever buys your home at the foreclosure sale/auction cannot just change the locks to the home. The new owner must serve you with a 3-day written notice to “quit” (move out) and, if you do NOT move out in the 3 days, go through the formal eviction process in court in order to get possession of the home. That process typically takes several weeks. Learn more about the eviction process.
A licensed attorney can guide you through the process and provide options for avoiding foreclosure. They can also help you in discussions between you and your lender.You can get immediate help at an affordable flat fee.
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Filing Foreclosure, Tarzana, CA