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Knowing the foreclosure process helps you anticipate key events, gives you a better understanding of the options, and improves your chances of navigating through foreclosure. Depending on your situation and the rules and regulations in your area, the foreclosure process can take from several weeks to possibly a year and generally proceeds along the following course:

  • Pre-foreclosure: You receive missed or late payment notices in the mail and perhaps phone calls if you fail to respond to the written notices.

  • Foreclosure notice: The lender delivers an official foreclosure notice, publishes a notice in the local newspaper or county news publication, and posts the notice on or near your home.

  • Reinstatement period: For some time prior to the sale, which varies depending on your jurisdiction, you may be able to stop the foreclosure by catching up on missed payments and any penalties and fees that accrued due to the missed payments.

  • Auction or sale: Assuming you do not reinstate the mortgage or take other actions to stop the foreclosure, your property goes for sale. An investor purchases the property or, if nobody bids, your lender ends up with the property.

  • Redemption period: In many jurisdictions, you have one last chance to save your property by redeeming it — buying it back from your lender or the investor who purchased it at the auction. To redeem the property, you must pay the buyer whatever the person paid at auction plus interest and any other qualifying expenses the person paid and filed an affidavit for paying.

  • Eviction: After the redemption period (if applicable in your jurisdiction), you must move out. If you don’t move out, the court sends someone over to remove you and your belongings from the property.

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