A recent job loss or unexpected medical bill can cause you to fall behind on your mortgage payments. If you fall too far behind, your lender may start foreclosure proceedings, meaning you could lose your home.
Going through foreclosure is stressful and can negatively impact your credit score for up to seven years. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid foreclosure, and ways to stop the foreclosure process once it starts.
Compare Top Mortgage Lenders
What Is Foreclosure?
Foreclosure is the process through which a lender repossesses your property because you’ve failed to make mortgage payments. Foreclosure can also be initiated by a homeowners association if you fall behind on annual dues, or a governmental entity if you fail to pay your taxes.
Lenders typically begin the foreclosure process about three to six months after you miss your first mortgage payment, though it can vary based on where you live. It’s a good idea to learn more about the foreclosure laws and processes in your state.
According to Richard F. Kruse, a real estate agent and managing partner of Gryphon USA, there is a wide range of foreclosure timelines depending on your location and your personal situation. He says the process could take five to six months from start to finish in some places, or as long as 12 to 18 months in others.