When Do I Need to Move?
There is no definitive answer to when you should leave your house if you plan on relinquishing it to your lender. There are, however, some general timelines that you can use to guide you with this issue.
Generally, you can miss six months or more before your house will be foreclosed upon by the bank.
At some point after you missed two or more payments, you will receive a notice of intent to accelerate from your mortgage company. This notice basically means that you must get current on your payments. The next step is a notice of default which typically occurs when you are three months or more late on your mortgage payments. The notice of default is recorded at the county recorder and should be sent via certified mail. The date that the notice of default triggers a 90 day period before the bank can prepare and record the notice of sale date. This sets the date for foreclosure. Also, once you receive the Notice of Default, you have the right to request a mediation to give you the opportunity to obtain a loan modification if the home is your primary residence. This will allow you additional time in the home.
Regardless of whether or not you accept the certified mailing of the notice of default, the timeframe for the foreclosure remains the same. Some people believe that if they do not sign for the notice, they can stall a foreclosure, however, that is not true. After the 90 day time period passes, the bank must provide at least a 20 day period before the sale date. Thus, the foreclosure process is, at minimum, 110 days from the recording date of notice of default before there can be a foreclosure sale.
Filing for Bankruptcy before the foreclosure sale will temporarily delay the foreclosure process. Once you file for Bankruptcy, the bank will have to file a motion for relief from the automatic stay which will allow them to continue with the foreclosure.
The process described above describes the minimum time frames to be expected for a non-judicial foreclosure. In many instances, homeowners are getting well over a year and a half without making a mortgage payment. Please be advised that this is not to be expected for every foreclosure.
In summary, the key factor to determine when you should leave your house, namely how quickly the lender acts, is also the one which is somewhat unpredictable. The minimum time you have is 110 days from the recording of the notice of default. The maximum time you might have is not predicable, and depends upon how quickly a lender pushes through the foreclosure process.
In addition, there is some expectation that the lenders may begin pursuing “judicial” foreclosure instead of the above-detailed “non-judicial” foreclosure, so these time estimates will vary in such scenarios.