* Will I lose my home if I go through foreclosure?

Yes, if your home goes through the foreclosure process to completion, you will lose ownership of the property and will have to vacate.

After falling behind on your mortgage payments – usually 90 days – a person may receive a notice of foreclosure informing them the house will be repossessed unless they pay the defaulted amount. Typically there are 30 days to answer a notice of foreclosure notice. If not answered to the lenders satisfaction, Legal notice of the foreclosure sale will then be advertised in an official newspaper for four weeks. The actual Foreclosure Sale is held the first Tuesday of every month on the steps of the courthouse of the same county where the real estate property is located.

The whole process from receiving a notice of foreclosure to foreclosure sale can take as little as 60 days.

* Do I have to move out now?

Once the sale is complete, you will have to vacate the property.

There is no right of redemption after a foreclosure sale in Georgia so the sale is final. The new property owner will work with the local authority to initiate the eviction process, they will make a demand for possession and the eviction process from there typically takes 15-30 days.

* Can I be held liable for the outstanding balance on my mortgage after foreclosure?

Sometimes yes. If the sale of the property doesn’t cover the outstanding balance of the loan, the lender may seek a deficiency judgment against you for the remaining amount.

However, you can avoid foreclosure a deficiency judgment entirely by completing a short sale. The short sale must expressly state that the bank (lender) waives the right to the deficiency. If the short sale doesn’t contain this waiver, the bank may file charge to get a deficiency judgment.

* How many mortgage payments can I miss before foreclosure?

Most lenders will begin the foreclosure process after you have missed three to six consecutive mortgage payments.

* What is pre-foreclosure and what does it mean?

Pre-foreclosure is the first step in the foreclosure process. It refers to the period of time when the homeowner fails to make mortgage payments but before a lender initiates the foreclosure notice on a property. During this time, the homeowner has missed one or more mortgage payments and is at risk of foreclosure, but the foreclosure has not yet been completed.

This early period offers the homeowner an opportunity to find a solution to avoid foreclosure, such as a loan modification, repayment plan, or selling the home.

* What is a deed in lieu of foreclosure?

A deed in lieu of foreclosure is when you give your house back to the bank instead of going through foreclosure. It’s an option for homeowners who can’t keep up with their mortgage payments and want to avoid the legal and financial consequences of foreclosure. Just keep in mind that it can still hurt your credit score staying on your credit record for 4 years, there may still be a deficiency to pay and not all lenders will offer this option.

If your house has equity it may be better to sell and take that equity for yourself, if it has no equity consider a short sale.

* Who should I talk to if I’m facing foreclosure?

If you are experiencing difficulty in paying your mortgage first contact your lender or loan service provider to inquire about workout options to avoid foreclosure. If the lenders are not being helpful, we and the following organizations may be of help:

Foreclosure is a little like a train going down the tracks, it can take a while to stop, so move quickly.

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