Guide to the Foreclosure Process in Georgia
Georgia homeowners have been severely impacted by the recession and housing bubble collapse. If you are a Georgia homeowner who has fallen behind on mortgage payments, you may be wondering what the foreclosure process in Georgia looks like and how long it takes. This guide can help you to understand the foreclosure process in Georgia and will explain how to avoid foreclosure entirely or at least delay it so you can have a good chance of making an arrangement with your lender.
Step 1: Missing Payments
Before the eviction process begins in Georgia, you will have to miss a mortgage payment—and usually more than one. Most lenders won't begin foreclosure proceedings as quickly as they're allowed to, for the simple reason that lenders make much more money on your mortgage than on your foreclosed house.
For this reason, the best way to avoid the foreclosure process in Georgia at this early stage is simply to talk to your mortgage lender. Most lenders are willing to work out payment plans with borrowers who have fallen on hard times, or even lower the monthly payment if you are making less money than you used to.
While you may be tempted to ignore your lender's requests for payment, especially if you have no way to pay immediately, this is the worst thing you can do. Lenders are much more willing to delay the foreclosure process in Georgia if you are actively working on developing a foreclosure avoidance plan.
Step 2: The Demand Letter
The foreclosure process in Georgia begins when you are sent notice from your lender that you have been late in payments and will have 10 days to pay all late amounts or face eviction proceedings. This demand letter is necessary for a legal foreclosure in the state of Georgia, whether it is handled through the judicial system (which is uncommon) or as a non-judicial foreclosure.
This is your last chance to contact your lender before foreclosure proceedings begin. Talking to your lender now may still mean you can keep your home and save your credit score.
Step 3: Notice of Sale
After 10 days, your lender will start publishing a notice of sale in the local newspaper in the county where you reside. The notice will be published for four consecutive weeks, and will also be sent to you via certified mail. The foreclosure process in Georgia requires that this notice be given, so that you have a final chance to pay off the entire mortgage amount (usually by selling your home or using a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure).
Step 4: The Sale
If you do not pay your mortgage in full by the time the notice of sale has been published for four weeks, your house will be auctioned off on the courthouse steps to the highest bidder. This is the final step in the foreclosure process in Georgia and results in you having your home taken and your credit destroyed for years to come. Avoiding foreclosure by talking to a lawyer or lender before it's too late can stop the foreclosure process in Georgia in its tracks.