If you have been struggling to make your mortgage payments and you are headed towards foreclosure, it’s important to understand how this process works in the state of Georgia. Since Georgia is a “non-judicial foreclosure state”, this means that your lender does not have to go to court in order to proceed with a foreclosure sale on your home. While certain procedures will need to be followed, court approval is not necessary to begin the foreclosure process on your home.
Foreclosure Starts With a Default
When you haven’t been making mortgage payments, your lender can officially default the loan for failure to pay. It’s possible to also default on your property if you have failed to secure the appropriate insurance, or you have not paid your property taxes. Once a default occurs, your timeline towards a foreclosure sale begins.
You will then receive a notice from your lender regarding their intent to foreclose on your property. In Georgia, your lender only has to give you 30 days notice regarding their intent to foreclose on your property. In this notice, your lender must clearly outline how you can remedy the foreclosure, or who to contact to renegotiate your mortgage. This notice must be sent to you by certified mail, and it is important for you not to refuse service.
Notice of Your Foreclosure Will Be Advertised
In the notice you receive, the advertisement that will be posted in your local paper will be included. In order for a foreclosure sale to be valid, this notice must appear in a local paper where the property is located for a consecutive four weeks. The foreclosure sale will then occur at the county courthouse in which your property is located.
If Your Home is Sold in Foreclosure
Once a foreclosure sale is completed, you no longer have the legal right to live in the home. The lender usually accepts the property in lieu of the mortgage agreement, although it’s possible to be sued for the difference between what is currently owed on your mortgage and what the lender receives in payment from the new buyer. If this occurs, you may find yourself in court trying to fight against a deficiency proceeding.
If you have received a foreclosure notice, or are worried about your ability to keep up with your current mortgage payments, it’s time to meet with an attorney who can help you get your financial situation back on track.