When Can Foreclosure Begin?
For those falling behind on mortgage payments, it’s only natural to begin to think about the possibility of foreclosure. When that happens, it’s often the response of the homeowner to avoid collections calls, discard late payment notices, or otherwise ignore their lender at all cost. This behavior is the first mistake in avoiding foreclosure.
The path to foreclosure can be broken into various stages:
- Missed Payments
If you’re questioning when foreclosure can begin, you’re likely already behind or anticipating becoming behind on payments. At this stage, homeowners legally have 120 days from the day of the missed payment before the lender can start the process towards foreclosure. Within this timeframe, homeowners will likely see late payment notices, late fee charges, collections calls, emails, or letters – any and every attempt from the lender to collect the outstanding payments. Responding to these notices early will delay or lessen the chances of entering foreclosure.
Once a mortgage payment is outstanding longer than 120 days, the lender is within its rights to move forward with a foreclosure. However, should the homeowner be showing initiative to try to catch up on their mortgage, the lender may put off foreclosure longer.The first sign that foreclosure is imminent is the Preforeclosure Notice. The lender must provide the homeowner with notice that due to their delinquency they are facing the possibility of foreclosure. The notice will include the balance necessary to satisfy the debt, as well as options the homeowner has in order to avoid the foreclosure. This is the homeowners last warning before officially entering foreclosure.
- Foreclosure Officially Begins
Following the Preforeclosure Notice, a homeowner in default of their mortgage will receive a Notice of Default and Election to Sell (NOD). The recording of this document with the county recorder is the legal starting point of foreclosure. The NOD will also be posted on the foreclosed property.
Regardless if foreclosure is imminent or already underway, there are many alternatives to foreclosure that often times are available to homeowners throughout most of the foreclosure process. Since a foreclosure may take months or even years to complete, the homeowner is able to get out of a foreclosure at any point throughout the process up until 5 days prior to the scheduled sale of the home. However, it’s important to note that alternatives to foreclosure become fewer and fewer the further into the process you become. For anyone anticipating or undergoing foreclosure, it’s always best to consult an experienced foreclosure defense attorney as early on in the process as possible to help explain your rights and options while you still have them. To schedule a consultation to discuss your specific situation, contact our office at (702) 998-1188, firstname.lastname@example.org, or use our online scheduler.