Foreclosure Process in California

Foreclosure Process in California

Foreclosure Process in California


Guide to the Foreclosure Process in California


In California, most foreclosures do not require the involvement of a court or judge.  Instead, the foreclosure process in California is non-judicial, which is to say, handled by your lender.  Because of this, foreclosure can be relatively quick.  If you are in danger of being foreclosed upon, don't get taken by surprise.  This guide will explain the various steps in the foreclosure process in California, and help you to understand your options for avoiding losing your home or destroying your credit.


Step 1: Before the Notice of Default


Your lender is required to tell you 30 days before sending a Notice of Default that you may fall into default.  You must be given the opportunity to meet with a lender or have a counselor meet with your lender for you.  This meeting will tell you how to avoid the foreclosure process in California.  You can also have a second meeting within 14 days of the first to develop a plan to avoid foreclosure.  Only after these meetings have happened, or 30 days have elapsed, can a Notice of Default be served.


Step 2: Notice of Default


If you have fallen behind in your mortgage payments, your lender has the right to send you a notice of default, which begins the clock in the foreclosure process in California.  Technically, your lender can do this as soon as you are late on a payment, but more realistically, lenders usually wait until you are significantly (2-3 months or more) behind.


Lenders do not want to foreclose on houses, especially in a market already glutted with foreclosed homes and short sales.  The foreclosure process in California can usually be avoided at this stage if you simply talk to your lender about working out a payment plan or forbearance.


Step 3: Notice of Trustee's Sale


You will have at least 90 days after you receive the Notice of Default to cure the breach in your mortgage.  This means that you may still have time to work out a plan with your lender, sell your house (with the agreement of your lender, as a “short sale” that can be done quickly), or file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy to stop the foreclosure process in California.


If you do not bring your mortgage current or otherwise resolve your dispute with your lender in this timeframe, you will be given a notice of trustee's sale.  This part of the foreclosure process in California notifies you that you have defaulted on your mortgage and that your property will be sold to the highest bidder, usually in 20 days.


Step 4: Trustee's Sale


If you have not stopped the foreclosure process in California by the date of the sale, your home will be sold for the amount you owe plus all foreclosure costs.  If no one bids on the house, it will be given back to your mortgage lender.


At this point, your mortgage lender or the new owner of your home can take possession and begin legal proceedings to have you evicted from the premises.  This can result in forcible removal if you do not leave willingly.




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