How Long Does Foreclosure Take?


Foreclosure, the process of your mortgage lender repossessing your home, sounds scary and can leave you lying wide awake at night if you’ve missed a couple of house payments. However, the reality is that this process happens slowly and the lender will usually offer a number of ways that a homeowner can redeem their loan and keep possession of their home.

How long does a foreclosure take?

There are a number of steps that lead up to a bank filing for foreclosure on a property. Rarely, if ever, is the homeowner caught unaware.

  1. Notice of default. The first step in a foreclosure is a notice of default, which is usually issued within 30 days of a homeowner missing his or her fourth payment. This gives the homeowner notice of the impending foreclosure and usually from two to four months to get current on his or her payments.
  2. Negotiation period. During this period, the lender will often be willing to work with the homeowner to renegotiate the terms of the mortgage, forgive a portion of the arrears if there is a hardship involved, and or fold the arrears into the principal of a new loan. This usually halts all foreclosure action while negotiations are pending. Some states also offer mediation, where a court-appointed mediator attempts to help the lender and homeowner find a way for the homeowner to keep his or her home. Chapter 11 bankruptcy will also halt the foreclosure process and, if approved by the court, allow the homeowner to catch up on his or her payments over a period of up to five years.
  3. Redemption period. Virtually all states allow homeowners to remain in their homes until the foreclosure process has been completed. In most cases, the homeowners also has the option to “buy the property back” at the price it is being offered on the open market. (This can be much less than what the borrower owes on the mortgage.)
  4. Sale of the property. Lastly, the property is offered for sale either via a sheriff’s auction of when a real estate company. The homeowner is given at least 30 days notice of the sale and then has 30 days after the sale to vacant the property without eviction.

In general, the process from your lender filing a foreclosure action and you having to leave your home takes around a year. However, there are a number of ways to pause or halt those proceedings.

If you’re facing the foreclosure of your Southern California home, you need a good foreclosure attorney in Los Angeles to help you navigate the intricacies of foreclosure law. Foreclosure and bankruptcy law is complicated and you could hamper your case if you file the wrong papers or ignore a required step. To learn more about how you can possibly keep your home in spite of a foreclosure notice, contact Oaktree Law today at (562) 219-2979. We’ve been helping homeowners like you stay in their homes for more than a decade.