Mortgage companies have the right to foreclose on your home, but they must follow very specific guidelines, timelines and issue the proper foreclosure notices in order to do so legally. The foreclosure process is typically long and winding, and most mortgage companies do little to help homeowners understand what they can expect. While the foreclosure notice timeline can change based on your particular circumstances, there are minimum requirements that the banks must adhere to. Failing to follow California state laws on foreclosure can result in the mortgage company being sued by the homeowner.
In most cases, the process starts with a letter of intent to foreclose, but this does not mark the official start of the foreclosure timeline. In California, the process does not officially begin until a Notice of Default on your mortgage is issued. A Notice of Default (NOD) is issued once a homeowner is 3 or more months behind and their monthly mortgage payments. Mortgage companies will not accept incomplete payments at this stage, and require the homeowner to pay the full amount in arrearages in order to get current on their loan. For consumers who have fallen behind, this is rarely a feasible option.
Assuming that the homeowner is unable to pay the full amount in arrears and get brought current on their mortgage, the next foreclosure notice they will receive is the Notice of Trustee Sale (NTS). The NTS cannot be issued less than 90 days after the NOD. During the three moths between these two foreclosure notices is the best time for a homeowner to take legal action to save their home.
How You Can Stop Foreclosure
Stopping foreclosure with the intent of staying in the home, or buying more time to sell the property are both realistic options that clients often come to us with. Depending on your goals, our Los Angeles Foreclosure Defense Lawyers can devise a strategy to help save your home. Most homeowner that decide to sue their lender do so during the time between these two foreclosure notices. This allows enough time for the legal process to run its course and get the results you deserve.
The two primary ways that our foreclosure lawyers stop foreclosure for Californians is by entering into Mortgage Litigation, or filing bankruptcy for our client. Both foreclosure defense methods can stop your foreclosure, but most clients prefer mortgage litigation if they have the resources to do so.
What if I Already Received a Notice of Trustee Sale?
A notice of Trustee Sale indicates that the mortgage company will foreclose soon, typically about 30 days after the notice is issued. Even at this stage of the foreclosure process, our attorneys have been able to take legal action to prevent properties from being sold. If you have received a foreclosure notice of trustee sale, you need to call and speak with a foreclosure attorney now. Time is of the essence, and waiting could cost you the home.