Foreclosure Timeline

Foreclosure timeline in California

Most California foreclosures are non-judicial foreclosures, meaning that the mortgage servicer/trustee does not have to get a court order to foreclose. The rules for a non-judicial foreclosure are:

1. To start the foreclosure process, the mortgage trustee must send the borrower a Notice of Default stating how much the borrower is behind on the loan. This notice must also be recorded with the county recorder’s office. Once the Notice of Default is recorded, the mortgage servicer will normally not accept the normal monthly house payments, but will only accept the full amount payable, including the arrearages.

2. Three months after the Notice of Default was recorded (not 90 days), the trustee can record a notice of the time set for the foreclosure sale (Notice of Trustee’s Sale) and must send it to the borrower. The mortgage trustee is actually permitted to file the notice of sale five days before the end of the three-month period, but the sale date must be at least 20 days plus the three-month period.

A California law requires mortgage servicers to attempt to contact the borrower before foreclosure regarding loan modifications. However, most mortgage servicers do not have to comply with that law.

What should I expect after a Notice of Default is recorded and the foreclosure process starts?

You will probably receive mailings from companies that want to scare you into paying them money. Some companies send “foreclosure reports” which are advertisements and contain detailed information about the mortgage that can be found in the Notice of Default, which is public record.

Also, people who may want to buy your house at the foreclosure sale may stop by to take pictures. They may even try to look in your windows or over your fences. Remember that they have no right to trespass on your property.

For more information on mortgages and foreclosure, please visit House & Real Property.