The foreclosure process in California can be confusing, intimidating, and stressful. However, knowing in advance how this process works and typically plays out can give you the peace of mind necessary to make rational decisions about your property's future. Understanding the California foreclosure process timeline is key to getting perspective on your situation and options.
We will breakdown exactly the way California foreclosures unfold, so that you can arm yourself with knowledge of your rights as a property owner.
Step 1: Notice of Default
The Notice of Default (NOD) is the first step on the part of the lender to initiate foreclosure actions. The Notice of Default in Santa Ana, CA is recorded once the borrower fails to meet the agreed upon terms of the loan. Typically, this simply means missing a payment, although in practice the NOD period extends for 90 days before the lender officially moves to the next step in the process. At this point, the property is considered to be in "pre-foreclosure," and the homeowner may receive a notice through the mail with a projected sale date.
Step 2: Notice of Trustee Sale
As soon as 90 days have passed from the NOD being recorded, the lender can then issue a Notice of Trustee Sale. Unlike the NOD, which is essentially a courtesy window to allow the borrower to become current, the notice of sale in Santa Ana is an actionable notice. It serves as a declaration of intent to sell the property at auction right out from under the homeowner.
Step 3: Auction
Depending on a variety of factors, the actual auction date for the property can vary widely. Technically, however, the lender/trustee only needs to wait 20 days after the Notice of Trustee Sale has been issued. However, there are several ways to postpone the actual auction, and many homeowners don't face their actual sale date for about a year after the initial date.
Step 4: Aftermath
There are four main outcomes that can follow the auction phase of the foreclosure process: postponement, cancellation, sale to bank, and sale to third party. Let's look at each of these outcomes and what they mean for the property owner.
Postponement - If you are able to secure a postponement (usually with the help of a foreclosure attorney), a new auction date is set and the process starts all over again. A postponement can be sought for a number of reasons: to simply buy more time in the property before moving; to give yourself more time to restore your finances and become current; or to prolong the window for formulating a legal strategy to fight against the foreclosure.
Cancellation - There are several reasons why an auction sale can be cancelled entirely. For example, the owner may decide to initiate a short sale of the property. Perhaps a loan modification was agreed upon at the last minute. At any rate, a cancellation is typically good news for the homeowner, but it doesn't necessarily mean that they get to keep the property when all is said and done.
Sale to Bank - A frequent outcome of the auction sale is that the lender is the only one to bid on the property. Often, the home will go right back into the lender's possession. In this instance, it is sometimes possible to regain title after the sale -- usually with the help of an aggressive and experienced foreclosure attorney.
Sale to Third Party - Properties in foreclosure are often attractive to third party buyers who seek to capitalize on the distressed nature of the property in order to get a good deal. In these cases, it is usually impossible to regain title to the home, despite the third party needing to follow rigid guidelines regarding treatment of the previous owners.
Depending on where you are in the foreclosure process, different options and outcomes may be more attractive to you than others. As always, it is best to consult with a qualified and experienced Santa Ana, CA based foreclosure attorney in order to assess the proper course of action for your own unique situation.
Making the decision on how to stop a foreclosure isn’t an easy one, and hiring an attorney who specializes in it can help. For a free consultation to weigh your options, you can contact Ashish Patel.
Home foreclosures have increased dramatically and unscrupulous lending practices have been behind some of the circumstances that caused hardworking people to lose their homes. The Patel Law Group of Santa Ana, California, is experienced in mortgage litigation and is here to help you.
Let us bring you up to date on lender liability. Mortgage brokers and banks must be held accountable for practices that contribute to foreclosures. We have the resources and the will to fight back against dishonest lenders.
Rest assured that we will hold lenders responsible for their practices. We are prepared to handle lender liability lawsuits that place responsibility where it belongs. Dishonest mortgage brokers and banks have often known they were lending money to people who would not be able to pay the loans. Unscrupulous lender tactics included making loans and raking in bonuses and closing costs. Lenders did not always approve loans that were appropriate, and they often preyed on racial minorities and the elderly, assuring them that refinancing or getting a new mortgage was well within reach.
Allow The Patel Law Group to fight for you. We have a well-deserved reputation for representing individuals and against big businesses that try to gain unfair advantages. If a lender harmed one person or one family, chances are that lender harmed hundreds or even thousands. We have the resources and the passion to file and litigate lender liability lawsuits.
If you would like more information, or would like to discuss your situation with a skilled mortgage attorney, please contact us today. We represent clients throughout Southern California.
Here's what our founding fathers and others had to say about property rights. These notable quotes still ring true today.
"Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can." - Samuel Adams
"Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty." - John Adams
"No power on earth has a right to take our property from us without our consent." - John Jay
"As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights." - James Madison
"A right to property is founded in our natural wants, in the means with which we are endowed to satisfy these wants, and the right to what we acquire by those means without violating the similar rights of other sensible beings." - Thomas Jefferson
"Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death." - James Madison
"All men are created equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing the obtaining of happiness and safety." - George Mason
"To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father's has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association - the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it." - Thomas Jefferson
"Ultimately property rights and personal rights are the same thing." - Calvin Coolidge
"The right of property is the guardian of every other right, and to deprive the people of this, is in fact to deprive them of their liberty." - Arthur Lee
"Just as man can't exist without his body, so no rights can exist without the right to translate one's rights into reality, to think, to work and keep the results, which means: the right of property." - Ayn Rand
"Next to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race." - William Howard Taft
"If history could teach us anything, it would be that private property is inextricably linked with civilization." - Ludwig Von Mises
"The reason why men enter into society is the preservation of their property." - John Locke
"So great moreover is the regard of the law for private property, that it will not authorize the least violation of it; no, not even for the general good of the whole community." - William Blackstone
"The system of private property is the most important guaranty of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not." - Friedrich Hayek