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by John M. Roberts

Question: What is foreclosure?

Foreclosure is a legal process in which the rights to a property is taken away from the owner and the property is then sold to satisfy unpaid mortgages and/or other liens held against the property.

Question: When do foreclosure proceedings start?

Answer: In most cases, foreclosure proceedings are started when payments become delinquent.

Question: How many payments can I miss before my lender files a Notice of Default on my property?

Answer: It depends on the type of loan you have. Your mortgage contract should state the number of payments you can miss before a Notice of Default is filed and sent to you.

Question: Who can foreclose on my property?

Answer: Mortgage holders and other lien holders who hold loans on your property can foreclose on you if you don't make the contracted payments. Remember, when you take a loan out on your property, the property is, in most cases, used as a form of security for making sure that the payments are made.

Question: What about tax liens? Can a tax lien be used as a reason to foreclose on someone?

Answer: A tax sale can take place if you get behind on your property taxes. The tax sale can be initiated by federal, state or local taxing agencies.

Question: From the time I become delinquent on my first payment, how long does it take to complete the full foreclosure process?

Answer: Different types of loans have different time frames. The foreclosure process for FHA and VA loans usually take longer than that for Conventional loans.

Question: How will I know when the foreclosure process begins?

Answer: Once foreclosure proceedings are initiated, a Notice of Default will be recorded at the County Recorders Office in the county in which the property is located and you will be notified by regular mail and by certified mail.

Question: How much time do I have after a Notice of Default is filed?

Answer: Normally, it is ninety days plus twenty to twenty five days for publication. But it would be wise to read all correspondence carefully, and or contact an attorney, to make sure what your rights are and what the time frame is in your situation.

Question: Can I stop the foreclosure sale?

Answer: Yes. You can bring your mortgage payments current along with all late charges, foreclosure fees, taxes, and insurance premiums.

If you are unable to do so, you can contact your lender and try to negotiate a plan to modify your payments but don't wait until the last minute to do this.

Other options include refinancing, selling your home and or filing for bankruptcy.

Question: If I file bankruptcy, how will that help me?

Answer: Bankruptcy will stop the foreclosure proceedings and give you time to work out a plan through the courts.

Question: If I lose my property through foreclosure, can I get any money from the foreclosure sale?

Answer: Yes. But first, any remaining balance on the mortgage will be paid along with all outstanding property taxes and court fees. In most cases, very little, if any money, will be left for you to get.

Question: How much time is given to vacate the property once the foreclosure process is completed?

Remember, once the Trustee's sale is complete, the title to the property is given to the new owner and your rights to the property are gone and the new owner gets immediate possession.

Note: Foreclosure is a serious matter and it is advisable to contact an attorney for legal advice.

About the Author

This information is provided by John M. Roberts of John Roberts Realty located in Moreno Valley, California.  He can be contacted at jrobertsrealty@yahoo.com.



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