What is Foreclosure?
February 10, 2017
February 10, 2017
“Foreclosure” is the legal term for the process lenders use to recover the unpaid amount of a loan from a borrower after the borrower violates the terms of a loan agreement.
What Kind of Borrower Violations Trigger a Foreclosure?
Normally, the borrower’s “violation” takes the form of non-payment, meaning the borrower has stopped making payments on the loan or fails to make payments in the amounts or at the times required by the loan agreement.
While many lenders will negotiate with borrowers, in hopes of getting payments back on track, if the negotiation fails—or if the borrower misses additional payments—the lender may decide to foreclose on the loan. Where the loan is secured by a mortgage or a deed of trust on the lender’s home, the lender pursues foreclosure proceedings in an attempt to recover the loan by forcing a sale of the collateral used to secure the loan – in this case, the borrower’s house.
What Happens Once Foreclosure Proceedings Start?
The exact foreclosure process lenders must use is controlled by a number of laws and regulations, some of which vary from state to state.
However, most foreclosure proceedings involve four different phases:
- Pre-Foreclosure/Notice of Default. This phase begins when the borrower misses payments. The lender will send the borrower notices about the missed payments and indicating that the borrower is in default (or in danger of a default) under the loan agreement. The lender may also file notices with the county recorder or post a notice on the door of the borrower’s home, to make sure the borrower knows that (s)he is in danger of a foreclosure suit.
- The Redemption Period. After receiving a notice of default, a borrower has a period of time – normally 1-3 months – to pay off the overdue amount of the loan, to sell the home, or otherwise to bring the property out of default. While lenders will sometimes negotiate arrangements with borrowers during this period, it’s dangerous for homeowners to let a loan go this far into default.
- Sale by Auction. If the homeowner fails to cure the default or sell the home before the end of the redemption period, the lender arranges an auction (either directly with the county assessor or, where necessary, after appropriate legal proceedings) and the house is sold, normally to the highest bidder – who then becomes the new owner of the home.
- Right of Redemption. In some states, the law gives borrowers who default on a loan a certain period of time to “redeem” the property—even after the auction sale—by paying back the entire remaining amount of the loan, plus the lender’s costs and interest. The redemption period varies by location, as do the terms the borrower must comply with to redeem the home.
- Eviction (if Necessary). After a house is sold in a foreclosure auction, the lender will give the borrower another notice, stating how long the borrower has to vacate the home. If the borrower fails to comply, the local sheriff will evict anyone remaining in the house after the stated date.
Foreclosure proceedings are stressful, and can be scary, especially if you find yourself in a position where the loan is due and you lack the funds to pay. If you need to sell a home quickly—either to avoid foreclosure or for any other reason—consider selling direct to an investor, to avoid the hassle and delay of open houses, long escrow times, and requests for repairs. To learn more, click here for a free, no obligation quote from 4 Brothers Buy Houses.
This article is for information purposes only; itis not and should not be taken as legal advice. If you are facing foreclosure, contact a legal specialist in your area for a consultation about your legal rights.