October 4, 2017

Once I Stop Paying My Mortgage, How Long Do I Have Before Eviction?

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By Patricia Payne

If you have stopped making your mortgage payments, how long you can stay in the home becomes a looming question. Depending upon what state you live in, as well as your lender’s foreclosure procedures, it could take months, or even years, for the foreclosure process to end in an eviction.

Foreclosure is a stressful process. You are constantly bombarded with threatening letters from attorneys, your lender, and even your local judicial system, and the process can take time before all avenues to collect on the promissory note are exhausted.

When Does a Foreclosure Officially Begin?

The foreclosure process officially begins when you miss your mortgage payment by the due date. For most homeowners, the due date is the 1st of the month. However, the majority of lenders generously give a 5 to10 day ‘grace period’ before any late charges are assessed on your account. That means if you fail to make your payment by the 1st of the month, a late charge will be added to your account if a payment is still not received by the 6th. Failing to meet your grace period is usually the first red flag that lenders see for delinquent accounts, and this initiates the foreclosure procedure.

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What are the Initial Stages for Foreclosure?

In an effort to resolve the delinquency, your bank will send you a late notice. If no contact can be made within a week or two after the grace period, the lender moves onto legal notices. Some homeowners try to stave off foreclosure by making false promises to send payment. Although this can buy some time in the beginning, false promises give lenders less flexibility with a borrower down the road when foreclosure is in full swing.

If contacts are futile and a payment is not received by the lender’s ultimatum, then a Notice of Default (NOD) is filed by an attorney in the county recorder’s office of your county of residence and sent to you via registered and certified mail. A NOD gives public notice that you are delinquent and the lender intends to proceed with foreclosure.

Once an NOD is received you have varying amounts of time to respond, depending on the state in which the home is located. You may have as little as 30 days or less in some states, while other states allow up to 12 months or more to resolve defaulted mortgages after the NOD is filed.

When Does the Auctioning Process Begin?

When the reinstatement period ends, the lender moves forward with assigning a date for auction. The timeline of this process also depends on the state. Some states give Deeds of Trust where a trustee, usually a title insurance company or attorney, sets up the auction. Mortgage states must go through a judge to perform a judicial foreclosure sale. Once the auction date is set, you, as a homeowner, may still reinstate your mortgage if you can pay all past due mortgage payments – plus interest, late fees, and all attorney fees – which can all add up to be quite a significant amount. However, this is your last chance to prevent foreclosure.

Once a public auction has been held and a new owner is assigned through a sheriff or trustee sale, you may have some time before you are escorted out of your home by law enforcement. All in all, your time from late payment to eviction can take anywhere from about six months to well over a year before all legal processes are fulfilled.

This article is intended for general information. Always seek sound financial and legal advice before making any financial decision.

About the Author: Helpful mortgage information at P. Payne works for OHM Mortgage and Foreclosure Information Site providing answers to all those questions people need to know.


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