Foreclosures have many steps and can take months, or more than a year, to finalize. It’s not until the very end stage when the home has been sold in a sheriff’s sale, and the court has approved that sale, that it’s too late to stop foreclosure. Until then, there are several stages at which the foreclosure can be halted.

When Does the Sheriff’s Sale Take Place?

The sheriff’s sale is the penultimate step in foreclosure. Once the sale occurs and the court approves it, the mortgagor has no legal options left. The home will no longer be theirs, and they will be given a specific period (usually 30 days) to vacate the home. If they don’t leave, they will be evicted by the sheriff when that time frame expires.

What Is the Right of Redemption?

The right of redemption is a period before the sheriff’s sale when the mortgagor has the right to “redeem” the mortgage and stop the foreclosure. That’s accomplished by paying off the debt, whether the loan itself or delinquent property taxes, usually through refinancing or selling the home. This period traditionally takes seven months, although there are exceptions to that.

What Is the Right to Reinstatement?

Right to reinstatement refers to reinstating the mortgage by paying the past-due payments, related fees and penalties, court costs, and attorney fees, if applicable. This stops the foreclosure. The mortgagor has 90 days once they’ve been served with the notice to foreclose to reinstate the mortgage. Once 90 days have elapsed, they no longer have the right to reinstate.

When Do Lenders Begin Foreclosure Proceedings?

Lenders will begin contacting the mortgagor when the second mortgage payment is missed. If the late payments are due to a temporary financial setback, it’s a good idea for the mortgagor to speak with the lender and let them know what’s going on and when the past-due amounts can be paid. When a third mortgage payment goes unpaid, the lender will send a notice to foreclose and bring in their legal assistance. This is when the foreclosure process begins, and it can take several months or more than a year to complete.

When Should I Consult a Foreclosure Lawyer?

A foreclosure lawyer should be brought into the process as early as possible. Unless this is a temporary financial issue and the lender has agreed to a repayment process, having an attorney available is highly recommended because foreclosure is complex and challenging to navigate on your own. That said, an attorney can be brought in at any point in the process where foreclosure can still be stopped. They may have recommendations and approaches the mortgagor didn’t know about or hadn’t considered that could bring the foreclosure to a halt.

Let Us Advise You

If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure, it may not be too late to stop it. Call us at 708-575-1500 to work with one of our experienced foreclosure attorneys.