Prospective homeowners make mortgage payments as repayment for the loan they took from a financial institution to purchase the property they currently live in. The property transfers to the homeowner’s name when all of the loan repayments are complete. Potential homeowners receive a foreclosure notice from the lender if they fail to make a certain number of consecutive loan repayments. You can educate yourself about the foreclosure process with an Ohio Foreclosure Defense Lawyer because every foreclosure case is unique, and you want to become a property owner.
It can be distressing to receive a foreclosure notice, but remember that you always have options. Let’s look at the typical foreclosure timeline before choosing how to respond to the foreclosure notice.
Standard Ohio Foreclosure Timeline
The days and events listed in the timeline are conventional notices you can expect to receive in the state of Ohio. The purpose of the timeline is to give readers a rough idea of the events leading to the foreclosure of a property.
Days 1 to 15:
Your mortgage lender notes that you missed your first mortgage payment. You have this time to rectify the situation without paying any fines.
Days 16 to 45:
The mortgage lender begins to consider options to add late fees to your mortgage bill. A late fee is added, and the mortgage lender takes notice if you do not pay two consecutive monthly loan repayments.
Days 45 to 60:
The mortgage lender reports the nonpayment information to appropriate credit bureaus. Missing a single loan repayment damages your credit score, the three-digit number lenders use to gauge creditworthiness. The mortgage lender sends a notice for a breach of the mortgage contract and provides options for making the payments. The notification also includes consequences you can face if you fail to make the repayments.
Days 90 to 118:
The Ohio court system supervises the foreclosure process because Ohio is a “judicial” foreclosure state. The loan provider must pursue court approval as a court judgment before selling the property out of possession of foreclosure. The lender proceeds to contact the court after three months from the first missed payment. The delinquent payer receives a summons from the court and a copy of the complaint.
Although mortgage lenders can choose to begin foreclosure proceedings after three months, a majority of them often wait six months to begin the foreclosure process.
Days 118 to 120:
The court provides you with 28 days from the notice of the complaint and official court summons to file an official answer. Consider having a lawyer like Amourgis & Associates, Attorneys at Law to represent your best interests in court. Your attorney can request your lender for additional time to make the repayments possible. Your lawyer can request mediation.
Days 121 onwards:
The lender can file for a summary judgment if you do not file an answer to the court summons. A court decision of a ‘default’ judgment in favor of the lender gives the lender the right to sell your property. The lender can contact law enforcement to establish a sale of your property. The transaction can finalize in a couple of weeks or a few months, but you do not have to vacate the property just yet.
Preventing The Sale Of Your Property
A surefire way to prevent the sale of your property is to avoid the foreclosure process. Do not hesitate to reach out to your lender if you miss a single repayment. Inform your lender that you are in a difficult financial situation and your willingness to cooperate to keep your property in your name. Foreclosure of a property is expensive and time-consuming for the lender.
There is no harm in contacting your lender directly at any time during the foreclosure process. Show them your willingness to work out a solution to continue making repayments as soon as you are in a better monetary position. Your willingness to settle shows your motivation to maintain ownership of the property. It can also help you maintain a good credit score.
You can file for bankruptcy at any time during the foreclosure process. The foreclosure proceeding stops as soon as you file for bankruptcy. You still have to make the remaining mortgage payments if you file for bankruptcy. The important thing is that filing for bankruptcy gives you the time to get back on your feet and restart making repayments from where you left off.
Consider consulting a bankruptcy attorney to decide if this is a good option for you in your current circumstances. Consider long-term goals in addition to your current financial condition. Declaring bankruptcy should be your last option when all else fails.
Federal Fair Debt Collection Protection Act
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) religiously implements the Federal Fair Debt Collection Protection Act (FDCPA) with all debt collectors. According to the FDCPA, debt collectors cannot contact you at any time that they choose. Debt collectors can not contact you when you are at work without your authorization. It is advisable to keep a physical record of all previous and current transactions with your loan provider.
Avoid giving out any information to anyone who can not provide you with the appropriate “validation information.” You have the choice to ask for verification of the debt even after you receive the validation information. Remember that a debt collector must be honest in all of their communications with you. A debt collector can not harass or threaten you in any way just to get information from you.
Service In The Military
You can play by a completely different set of rules if you or your spouse serve in the military. According to The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), you do not need a court order to stop a foreclosure if you are associated with the military. This defense does not apply to you if it has been more than three months since your discharge from the military.
Holding on to a piece of property might not always be the answer. Consider selling your house if you have been punctually paying your mortgage payments. It might be worthwhile to move to a new place that you can easily manage.