What is Foreclosure?

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Mortgage foreclosure is the process a bank or mortgage company uses to take back ownership of real estate when the homeowner hasn't complied with the mortgage agreement. Most often, that simply means that the homeowner couldn't keep up the mortgage payments.

The foreclosure process may differ depending upon your state. Generally, the downward spiral into foreclosure begins when your loan payment becomes 16 days overdue. At that point, your mortgage lender may try to contact you to work out a repayment schedule to bring your loan current. If your mortgage payment becomes 30 days late and the next month's payment looks suspect, the collection calls will come on a regular basis. If your payments fall 90 days behind, the mortgage company will likely refer your mortgage to an attorney that will start formal foreclosure proceedings.

Again, the foreclosure process varies by state, and the best source of information about how the foreclosure process might proceed in your case is a local attorney. Generally, the lender must serve a notice of default on the homeowner after a certain time period from when the payment becomes past due. This time period varies by state. The notice will give the homeowner a time period and an amount necessary to be paid in order to "cure" the default and avoid foreclosure. If the homeowners cannot pay the delinquency and costs of foreclosure within this time, then the lender will set a foreclosure sale date. The lender will then sell the property at public auction. If the sale price isn't enough to cover the outstanding debt and costs associated with the sale, the mortgage lender can and probably will pursue a deficiency judgment - a court order requiring you to pay the remaining balance to the lender.

The property may be "redeemed" by the homeowner by paying all delinquencies and costs, up to the time of sale and in some states, for a period after sale. This redemption period varies by state. The law in most states gives the homeowner every opportunity to stop the foreclosure process. As a matter of fact, homeowners have options right up to the minute that the auctioneer's gavel comes down.

Now that you have read about What is Foreclosure, may we suggest that you take the next step and check out Avoiding Foreclosure. It is important to us that we are able to help people as they recover and prosper after job loss, so please contact us with suggestions, corrections, and even your personal experiences. If you found this article or video to be helpful, we'd love for you to share it with a friend. Also, be sure to check out all of the amazing resources for your career transition in the ILostMyJob.com Book Store!

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