If you’ve gotten a foreclosure notice of default and want to know what the heck is going on, keep reading.
A foreclosure notice of default is a document that has to be filed by a lender to start the process of foreclosure.
The foreclosure notice of default must be sent to anyone who has an interest in the property (any other loans, lenders, or even contractors who are owed money for work done to a property will get a copy).
The foreclosure notice of default must also be published in a newspaper and physically posted in a prominent place on the property itself.
Although this can be really embarrassing to someone going through foreclosure, it’s actually a very important protection for consumers.
Understanding the foreclosure process in Texas is an important part of navigating your own home foreclosure.
Before we dive in…
What is foreclosure anyway?
Foreclosure is the legal process that lenders use to take back property securing a loan, generally after the borrower stops making payments.
When you know how foreclosure in Texas works… it arms you with the knowledge to make sure you navigate it and come out the other side as well as possible.
The Basic Stages of A Foreclosure
Foreclosure works differently in different states around the country and there’s a few stages that are important to any foreclosure process.
The two ways different states use to foreclose upon a property are: judicial sale or power of sale.
Connect with us by calling (512) 430-1804 or through our contact page to have us walk you through the specific foreclosure process here locally in Austin.
In either scenario, foreclosure typically doesn’t go to court until 3-6 months of missed payments have elapsed. Usually (but not always), a lender will send out many notices that you are in arrears – overdue or behind in your payment.
Under Judicial Foreclosure:
- Your mortgage lender must file suit in the court system.
- You’ll get a letter from the court demanding payment.
- Assuming the loan is valid, you’ll have 30 days to bring payment to court to avoid foreclosure (and sometimes that can be extended).
- If you don’t pay during the payment period, a judgment will be entered and the lender can request the sale of your property – usually through an auction.
- Once the property is sold, the sheriff serves an eviction notice and forces you to immediately vacate the property.
Under Power of Sale (or Non Judicial Foreclosure):
- The mortgage lender serves you with papers demanding payment, and the courts are not required – although the process may be subject to judicial review.
- After the established waiting period has elapsed, a deed of trust is drawn up and control of your property is transferred to a trustee.
- The trustee can then sell your property for the lender at a public auction (notice must be given).
Anyone who has an interest in the property must be notified during either type of foreclosure.
For example, any contractors or banks with liens against a foreclosed property are entitled to collect from the proceedings of an auction.
Back before US law required a notice of default, people were sometimes foreclosed on without any warning.
In fact, it’s happened even in the past few years – at least one bank has accidentally foreclosed on the wrong property and kicked people out of their house without due process or warning. It’s even happened around Austin.
The notice of default is a very important step within the foreclosure process that gives people with an interest in the property to step forward and claim their rights – before it’s too late.
So what is a pre-foreclosure?
After 3-6 months of payments are missed and the notice of default is issued, this period is known as “pre-foreclosure.”
Banks and mortgage lenders typically provide three months for the homeowner to become current. Of course this number can vary by bank and situation sometimes.
If a homeowner fails to make the necessary payments, the bank will foreclose on the home, assuming ownership, and evict the homeowner. Thankfully, during this stage of the foreclosure process, a mortgage holder has the opportunity to take advantage of several options to prevent losing their home.
If you’ve received a notice of default, don’t wait. Time is definitely of the essence, and you should take action.
Here are a few key steps you should take:
1) Stay calm and don’t panic.
This may sound obvious, but it’s the most important. Anyone in foreclosure is dealing with a lot of stress beyond just the property. These situations don’t happen overnight, and they take a while to solve. You’ll get through it by practicing good coping techniques and taking good care of yourself and your family. Panic leads to bad decisions, so stay cool.
2) Educate yourself.
Learn everything you can about the foreclosure process in your state so that you know what’s happening and what’s coming up next.
3) Gather your resources.
There’s also many non-profit and government resources available out there. You’ll want good legal and tax advice along the way. Definitely don’t try to do it all yourself. This stuff is super complicated with lots of rules.
4) Learn your options.
We’re here to help you avoid foreclosure. We buy houses with cash. We can help you with short sales and even rent-back situations so you (potentially) may be able to keep living in your home. There are many more options than you think.
The banks involved don’t want your property. They want money, and what you say matters a lot. You can slow down or stop the foreclosure process if you take the appropriate action.
Pre-foreclosure Options for Borrowers
You have options that can delay or even prevent losing your home:
- If your mortgage is “above water,” (meaning you have equity in your house) you may be able to refinance your mortgage, receiving lower monthly payments. Check with your local Austin mortgage broker
- You may qualify for a loan modification. These are offered by most banks and in rare occurrences they can stop the foreclosure process. They are generally accepted if there was a temporary dip in household income. If there is a permanent dip, as in most cases, chances of approval are slim. Learn more about the loan modification process here.
- You may be able to quickly sell your home to a real estate investor that’s reputable in Austin like us at Logic Home Solutions, using the cash acquired to pay the months of back-payments owed (or we *may* be able to work out something with the lender that relieves all or part of your back payments.We can buy your Austin Texas area home quickly, often in just a week or two, will pay in cash, and takes the stress out of trying to find a buyer.
- You can contact the bank and ask them to permit a short sale. In a short sale, you’ll sell your home for less than it’s worth, and the bank will take the loss as a tax write-off. In some short sales you may still be required to pay the difference to the bank if the house doesn’t sell for what is owed on the loan.
- You may be able to declare bankruptcy, which can buy you time to pay your debt. Bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for years, and can cause significant damage. This will only delay the foreclosure process and instead of having just a foreclosure on your record you’ll have a bankruptcy as well.
Lenders are very much aware of the widespread financial troubles across the country and they’re willing to work with borrowers a lot of the time.
If you’re honest and communicate with your lender, you’ll often find that there are options that will allow you to remain in your home, or at least salvage your credit rating.
A foreclosure can often negatively affect your credit score and prevent you from obtaining a loan of any sort for 5-7 years, so be very dutiful if you’ve received a Notice of Default from your lender.
But if you’re not able to find a solution with your lender working directly with them… connect with us. We may be able to help.
Ways We Can Help If You’re In Pre-Foreclosure
- We can buy your Austin area house – We buy houses in Austin and would love to make you an all-cash offer on your house.
- You can ask us questions and we can provide you FREE guidance and resources so you can make a well educated decision. This costs you nothing, there’s absolutely no pressure, no obligation… just free guidance without a catch.
If you’re in the pre-foreclosure stage… you’ve still got time to fix this situation.
Want to know more?