Foreclosure Process

The Process of Mortgage Foreclosure: What Homeowners Need to Know
Understanding the foreclosure process is essential for any homeowner so that he or she can anticipate each move that the lender will make. A homeowner may be able to diffuse or remedy certain parts of the foreclosure process if he or she is fully informed. Homeowners can also better assert their legal rights to prevent foreclosure if they see that a lender is not abiding by the legal process as set out in a particular jurisdiction.

The Difference Between Judicial and Non-Judicial States
The major distinction that homeowners need to understand is whether they live in a state that is defined as a judicial or non-judicial state. A judicial state requires that foreclosure proceedings occur through a court process. A notice is recorded in the public land records and reveals a claim that has been made on the property. A complaint is then filed with the court and allows a lender to possess a property. The defendant, usually the homeowner, is given the opportunity to dispute any issues of material fact in the court. A court will usually find in favor of a lender, because the borrower usually can not assert facts to show that he or she is not in default. The sheriff's sale is then authorized by the court and will take place on a date made available to the public.

In non-judicial states, a court does not intervene in the foreclosure process. Instead, a borrower is sent a notice of default in the mail. After the notice period is over, then a public auction will take place. If the borrower disputes facts about the default, then he or she may file a lawsuit to prevent the public auction from taking place.

Right to Cure Notice -  Every homeowner is entitled to receive a right to cure notice. This notice provides homeowners with a certain period of time to take care of a foreclosure. A homeowner will have to check with the foreclosure laws in his or her particular state to determine the exact amount of time that he or she has to remedy a foreclosure. For example, homeowners in Massachusetts have up to 150 days to cure a foreclosure.