If you are facing possible foreclosure on your home, falling behind on your mortgage payments, or are already in the foreclosure process, you may be wondering exactly how long you can stay in your house once the foreclosure is final. The answer to that question is not black and white. The time you have to stay in the home in Georgia will depend on a few factors.
Process After The Foreclosure
Once the foreclosure is complete, the new owner of the property will contact you as the former owners. They do this to let you know how long you have in the home, and will tell you when they want you to vacate. There have also been cases where they ask for the keys to the property in exchange for cash. Another option they may offer you, especially if they are an investment purchaser, is a lease on the home so you can rent it back for a while. One thing is for sure, though: they are not allowed to show up one day and put you out on the street with no warning.
What Happens If You Don’t Leave
If you do not leave when asked by the new owner, you are referred to as a “tenant at sufferance,” and the new property owner can then begin the eviction process to remove you from the property.
Prior to eviction, there is a “demand for possession” usually sent by certified mail. There will be a deadline for you to move out, which may be just a few days from when you got the letter. If you do not move out by that date, the new owner has the option to file for eviction with the local Magistrate court. The eviction papers will be served to you by a local law enforcement officer. Once you have been served, you have seven days to file an answer with the court. If you file an answer, there will be a hearing set in the court within a few weeks. At the hearing, you will plead your case in front of a judge and they will make a decision. Remember, this is just about the eviction and not a time to talk about the foreclosure.
Finally, the judge will enter a writ of possession and will send a Sheriff to come remove you and your belongings from the house. If you get to this point, it is best to go ahead and move out of the home because the movers will not care about your property and may simply throw it on the street.
As you can see, there are a few ways that foreclosure is handled and each will result in a different amount of time in the home. If you are facing a home foreclosure, contact us at Morgan Lawyers. We can help simplify the process, and may even be able to help you stay in your home.