Foreclosure Information and Timeline

First Things First

The following sections are intended to include only general information that is often applicable to non judicial foreclosures in CA. Foreclosure law is complicated and there is not a specific explanation that applies to all, partially because the laws vary based on different situations and geographic locations.

We are Certified Distressed Property Expert Realtors®, not lawyers or accountants. The information presented on this page/site is intended to help those homeowners considering short selling their homes as a method to avoid foreclosure.

We highly suggest consulting with your attorney or checking out one of the law related websites to find more information.

How Long Does it Take for the Lender to Foreclose?

This is by far, the most common question we hear. As a result, here is the short answer.

Depending on the timing of the various required notices, it usually takes a minimum of 120 days to for an uncontested non-judicial foreclosure. This process may be delayed if the borrower contests the action in court, seeks delays and adjournments of sales, or files for bankruptcy.

Interesting Fact

Many of us are unaware that your lender can actually file a Notice of Default (NOD) after you miss even one payment. This almost never occurs, but it's an interesting fact. Generally, a Notice Of Default (NOD) will be filed after 90 days has passed since the last payment. It could be, and often is longer than 90 days, but 90 days a a good rule of thumb.

If you are considering short selling your home it's very important to get started quickly. Once a sale date has been set, it will likely be too late.

Discover more Options and Solutions to Foreclosure

The Foreclosure Process - Short Version

On the surface, the dates for the foreclosure process are easy to understand but there are a number of other activities occurring within the time period, after the NOD is actually filed. Also, keep in mind that some of the dates may adjust. The dates mentioned below are the minimums. The foreclosure process can, and often does take longer than provided by state law, but don't bet on it! The short version of the timeline is as follows:

Borrower Misses 1 to 3 Payments - At some point, if you do not pay your mortgage payments you will receive a Notice of Default.

Notice of Default Issued - Once the Notice Of Default is filed the foreclosure process is underway and the clock starts ticking.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE TO THOSE CONSIDERING A SHORT SALE - If you have received an NOD, unless you seriously believe you can bring you loan current, it's critical to begin the short sale process shortly after receiving the NOD, if not sooner. Remember, you don't necessarily need to fall behind in your payments in order to short sale.

Day 1 - Day 90: Redemption Period - Notice Of Default Filed. 90 Day Redemption Period

Day 91 - Day 110: Publication Period - Notice Of Trustee Sale.
IMPORTANT NOTE #2 - Once a sale date is set, you are PROBABLY to late to short sale. Years ago, lenders were receiptive to sale date extensions, but for now, lenders have NOT been agreeing to extensions.

Day 111 or more: Trustee's Sale Date - Property can now be sold

See below for a more complete version of the foreclosure process.

More Detailed Version of the Foreclosure Process

Redemption Period

Once the Notice of Default records, the foreclosure time frame is underway. California law states that within 10 business days a copy of the recorded Notice of Default is sent by certified and regular mail to the borrowers at all addresses provided and any recorded special requests. Within 30 days a copy of the Notice of Default is sent by certified and regular mail to the owners and junior lien holders to the Deed of Trust being foreclosed. A Trustee's Sale Guarantee Report is ordered from the title company providing all title information. The foreclosure remains dormant for the next 60 days unless the borrower makes contact to cure.

Publication Period

California foreclosure law states that the publication period begins once the redemption period has expired. A Notice of Trustee's Sale is prepared and published in an adjudicated paper of general circulation in the city in which the property is located. The Notice of Trustee's Sale is published one time per week for three weeks. The actual Sale is established by adding at least 20 days to the date that the Notice of Trustee's Sale was first published in the newspaper. The Notice of Trustee's Sale is posted on the property and in a public place. At least 14 days period to Sale date the Notice of Trustee's Sale must be recorded in the county in which the property is located.

Trustee's Sale

California foreclosure law states that on the day that was established for sale of the property, and only after all publication period requirements have been met, the property is sold to the highest bidder for cash for the full amount of the debt plus foreclosure fee and expenses. If no one bids at the Trustee's Sale, the property automatically reverts back to the beneficiary for the debt. A Trustee's Deed Upon Sale is recorded in the county in which the property is located transferring title to the foreclosing beneficiary allowing the marketing of the property to recover their debt.

All sales under a power of sale in a deed of trust will be made between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on any business day, Monday through Friday, at the time specified in the notice of trustee sale. The sale must be made a public auction to the highest bidder. The trustee has the right to require every bidder to show evidence of ability to pay the full bid in cash, cashier's check or certain bank checks. Each bid is by law an irrevocable offer to purchase. However, a higher bid cancels an earlier bid. It is unlawful and a criminal offense (a fine of $10,000 or up to one year in jail) to offer anyone consideration not to bid, or to fix or restrain the bidding process in any manner. Debtors may reinstate up to five days before non-judicial foreclosure sale.

Junior lien holders may no longer redeem, so they may try to protect themselves by (1) advancing funds to bring the senior loan payments current, then foreclosing for the sums advanced; (2) bidding at the foreclosure sale so the price will be sufficient to pay off the senior and the junior liens; or (3) acquire the property by bidding at the foreclosure. If the debtor has a right to redeem and does so, the junior who purchased the home must be reimbursed. Junior liens do not reattach the property if a borrower redeems a senior lien whose foreclosure extinguished the junior. This helps borrowers by encouraging the junior to bid up to the property to fair market value at the foreclosure sale, or else lose out, giving borrowers closer to fair value at sale.

Lenders may not seek a deficiency judgment if (1) the foreclosure is non-judicial or if (2) foreclosure is on a purchase money obligation. The same rules do not apply to guarantee or later lien holders. The lenders may seize alternative collateral. If the lender forecloses by filing a lawsuit, then the lender can obtain both a foreclosure sale order and a judgment against the borrower for a deficiency after the court-ordered sale, but only for the difference between the judgment and the fair value of the security.

Important NOTE: The team here at the Gregory Real Estate Group AND ExtremeShortSale are Realtors® and Short Sale Experts. We are not attorneys or tax professionals. We suggest you consult with the proper professional for relevant assistance.

Options to Avoid Foreclosure

  • Short Sale

    A short sale is most likely your BEST option. It critical to use a Certified Distress Property Expert who teams with a professional negotiator.

  • Forebearance

    Arrange a temporary repayment plan with your lender. This might work, if you really have recovered from your financial difficulties.

  • Refinance

    If you can qualify, obtain a new loan with lower monthly payments. Usually NOT a viable option.

  • Rent the Property

    You may be able to rent the property but you must bring the loan current first.

  • Deed in Lieu

    A "friendly foreclosure" and not recommended. It's kind of like pleading guilty for a crime without having a lawyer.

  • Bankruptcy

    Filing for Bankruptcy will stall foreclosure but NOT prevent it. Obviously, you'll need an attorney before doing anything.

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