How Long Does the Foreclosure Process Take?

When people learn that their houses is being foreclosed upon, a common question is, “How long does the foreclosure process take?”  Knowing the length of time from the first missed mortgage payment to the actual eviction of the homeowner is one of the most important concerns in the entire foreclosure process.  Often, those adversely affected by foreclosure do not understand the time frame, nor in what order the whole procedure transpires.  The actual answer to the question, “How long does the foreclosure process take?” depends almost entirely on the laws of the individual state in which the property is located.

Each state determines various time lines that include any notices that must be served.  It also determines periods of redemption that come after the sale, and the confirmation and scheduling of the sheriff’s sale itself.  The state laws also dictate the procedure that must be followed for postponing a property’s sale.  Therefore, The question, “How long does the foreclosure process take?” does not have one definitive answer.  In general, however mortgage companies tend to begin the non-judicial foreclosure process from 3-6 months after the homeowner misses the first mortgage payment.  The mortgage companies are usually technically allowed to begin proceedings immediately after the payment is 30 days delinquent.  However, with the state of the economy these days, many lenders are understanding of the circumstances often add additional time.

A good response to give someone who asks, “How long does the foreclosure process take?” is to advise them to check with their lending agency and the sheriff’s office to learn the scheduling of the various steps involved.  In some states, that person will be advised that the eviction process can begin immediately.  If this happens, the homeowner can reasonably estimate another month between the date of the sale and the formal eviction date.  Once this date has been determine, the homeowner will probably change his or her inquiry from “How long does the foreclosure process take?” to “What do we do now?” because they will have to relocate, and often downsize.

Since the massive decline of the housing market, more American families than ever are asking, “How long does the foreclosure process take?” because they have been served with foreclosure notices.  On average, those who live in states that require the foreclosures be processed through the courts can anticipate som​ewhere around 271 days or approximately nine months which is longer than non-judicial foreclosures.  Judicial foreclosures have their own processing procedures and are in the middle of the foreclosure upheaval that was brought on by mortgage companies that improperly pushed through foreclosure paperwork on literally thousands of homes.

The silver lining to the grim housing situation is that the recession has officially ended and the economy is getting better.  With more new jobs being created and people who were formerly without work, being rehired, fewer families will have to ask, “How long does the foreclosure process take?” because they will be keeping their homes.

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