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What are the steps in the foreclosure process?

As previous posts here have mentioned, foreclosures remain a problem for the national housing market, and the South Florida area is not immune to this issue. Although many real estate markets throughout the country are recovering from the plummet in property values that took place a few years ago, there are still too many homeowners who are struggling with their monthly mortgage payment.

So, what can South Florida homeowners expect if they think that a foreclosure might be on the horizon in their lives? Well, the first step - how this process begins to take shape - is probably the most obvious: missed and delinquent payments. When a homeowner secures a mortgage that person agrees to make monthly payments of a certain amount at a certain time. Anything else is in violation of the agreement, and lenders can take action.

After a set period of time passes in which monthly payments are missed - 90 days, in many cases - the lender will send out a notice to the homeowner that they have defaulted on the mortgage agreement. Once this happens, the actions that the homeowner takes next can be crucial. The homeowner can contact the lender and work out an arrangement to "cure" the default. But, if this doesn't happen, the lender will take the process to the next step: auctioning off the home.

Up until this point the homeowner can still save their home by paying off the mortgage in full. But that simply isn't an option for many people who find themselves this far into the process. If no one shows up to the auction with cash and a bid, the lender will usually buy back the property and the homeowner will be forced to vacate the premises.

Source: frontdoor.com, "The Stages and Phases of the Foreclosure Process," Accessed on Jan. 11, 2015

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