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How Long Can Foreclosure Take?

The foreclosure timeline (actually losing ownership of your property) depends on the laws of the state where your property is located. In some states, the process can move as fast as 45 days once initiated, and in others as long as a year. Since the process can move quickly, stay informed, read your mail and don't disregard any letters. If you don't understand any communications, involve a trusted friend, relative or legal counsel.

  1. 1st Missed Payment

    Lender contacts borrower to collect payment via mail or phone

  2. 2nd Missed Payment

    Lender contacts borrower to discuss why payment was missed

  3. 3rd Missed Payment

    Demand Letter or Notice to Accelerate sent to borrower

  4. 4th Missed Payment

    End of Demand or Notice period; lender referral to foreclosure

  5. Sheriff or Public Trustee's Sale

    Actual day of foreclosure or initiation of court action - time from referral to foreclosure varies by state; may be as little as 2 months

  6. Redemption Period

    A period after foreclosure sale when home can be reclaimed by paying outstanding mortgage balance and all foreclosure costs. Redemption period may vary by state.



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