Understanding the California foreclosure process timeline is key to getting perspective on your situation and options. Many homeowners will receive one of the notices mentioned in this article, and either ignore it or misinterpret the meaning. In today's post, we will breakdown exactly the way California foreclosures unfold, so that you can arm yourself with knowledge of your rights as a property owner.
The Notice of Default (NOD) is the first step on the part of the lender to initiate foreclosure actions. The Notice of Default in California 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.
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 California is an actionable notice. It serves as a declaration of intent to sell the property at auction right out from under the homeowner.
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.
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.
Depending on where you are in the California 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 California based foreclosure attorney in order to assess the proper course of action for your own unique situation.
-- Michael Avanesian, Esq.
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