Learn about the foreclosure laws in Georgia, including required notices, timelines, and more.
If you’re facing foreclosure in Georgia, you don’t want to just bury your head in the sand and hope that it goes away.
If you do, you will lose your house to the foreclosure process.
This article is going to cover everything you can expect to happen during the foreclosure process.
And the foreclosure laws in Georgia that you need to know about.
Pre-Foreclosure in Georgia
Per the federal law, the bank who owns the mortgage on your house has to wait until you’re 120 days late on your payments before they send you the official notice of foreclosure in Georgia.
This is the same foreclosure law whether you are going through a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure.
This 120-day Georgia foreclosure timeline is supposed to provide you with plenty of time to catch back up on your payments, refinance your house, or sell your house fast in Georgia.
Also, the federal mortgage laws also says that the banks must call you within 36 days of missing your first payment. (Yes, it still counts if you miss or ignore the call.)
They also must call you within 36 days after EACH missed payment.
And after 45 days after missing a payment, the bank must inform you in writing about what your options are to avoid foreclosure in Georgia.
Notice of Foreclosure Letters Georgia
Before the banks can pursue the foreclosure process, they have to send you a notice of foreclosure letter.
The notice of foreclosure letter must specify:
- the default
- the action required to fix the default
- a date by which the default must be fixed
Normally, the servicer will send this letter when you’re around 90 days’ delinquent on the loan.
They normally send this as a certified letter that you have to sign for.
This way, there is receipt that you actually received the notice of foreclosure.
If you don’t make up the payments that you missed, the foreclosure will start.
Foreclosure Process in Georgia
After your 120-days of warnings that you’re about to enter the Georgia foreclosure process, a new Georgia foreclosure timeline starts.
This one is the timeline of the actual foreclosure.
Most foreclosures in Georgia are non-judicial foreclosures.
This just means that the bank can foreclose on your house without going through the court system.
30-Day Notice of Intent to Foreclose
30 days BEFORE your house goes to the local foreclosure auction, the bank must send you a notice of the initiations of the foreclosure process.
In this letter, they are basically just telling you that they are going to exercise their right to sell your house.
Again, this notice of intent to foreclose will be sent via certified mail, so that they have receipts of you receiving the letter.
This protects them from any litigation pertaining to the foreclosure process in Georgia.
Publication of the Notice of Sale
The bank is going to publicly notify you of the foreclosure on your house.
Nice of them, right?
This is just in case you happen to NOT receive the notice of intent to foreclose.
They are legally obligated to notify the public as a blanket notification (for you).
So, basically, everyone in your county is going to see that you are going into foreclosure.
They publish your foreclosure in the local newspaper and on the paper’s website once a week for the four weeks leading up to the date of the foreclosure sale.
Ten-Day Attorneys’ Fees Notice
Lucky for you (not), you also get to pay the attorney’s fees that the bank incurs along with losing your house.
This letter is called the 10-day attorney’s fees notice.
It basically states that if you don’t make up for the past three months of missed payments, along with interest and fees, then you have to pay the attorney’s fees on the foreclosure process.
They really like to kick homeowners while they are down.
So, you can expect to pay attorney fees as well.
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The Foreclosure Sale
Here’s your big day. (Sarcasm.)
Foreclosure auctions are held at the local county courthouse.
They hold these foreclosure sales on the first Tuesday of every month. (Excluding major holidays.)
If it’s a major holiday, they will move the foreclosure sale to that Wednesday.
Your house will be sold to the highest bidder.
Usually, the buyer is a hedge fund, a flipper, or a landlord.
Deficiency Judgment Following Sale
It’s not bad enough that you lose your house.
The bank can also come after you AFTER they auction off your house and leave you homeless.
This is called a deficiency judgement.
It allows them to come after to for any money that they “lost” by loaning money to you for the house.
Yep, even though they just sold the house and recouped any lost money.
Deficiency Judgment After a Nonjudicial Foreclosure in Georgia
When the bank gets a deficiency judgement against you, they have to file a report of sale with the superior courts in your county.
They must file this report 30 days after the sale.
If they miss this 30 day deadline, then they CANNOT get a deficiency judgement against you.
But don’t get your hopes up.
Most banks have people or departments dedicated to this.
But if the bank did not follow all of the Georgia foreclosure processes correctly, this is where you get off the hook.
At the deficiency judgement hearing, the courts will make sure that they bank:
- had the notices sent to the borrower
- published foreclosure sale advertisement in the news
- whether there were irregularities in the sale
The courts will also look at how much the house was worth versus how much it sold for and see how much the bank lost during the foreclosure process.
If the court gives the green light, the lender can file a lawsuit against the borrower to get a deficiency judgment.
If the sale was not proper, the court may order a resale of the property.
Foreclosure laws in Georgia do not provide a statutory right of redemption after the foreclosure.
Once a home has been foreclosed, it can’t be redeemed.
This means that no matter what you do, you cannot get your house back.
Unless you approach the new owner and buy it from them.
But that is going to cost you retail value, which will be a much higher price than they bought it for.
How to Avoid Foreclosure in Georgia
If you are facing foreclosure in Georgia, then you can stop the foreclosure.
Selling your house to a real estate investor may be one of your best options.
They can close quickly, which means that you can sell the house no matter where you are at in the foreclosure timeline.
They can buy the house as-is, which means that you can literally take ONLY what you want and walk away from the house.
They can pay with cash, which means that you don’t have to go through the whole bank approval process, which can take up to 2 months.
If you want to get out of your house fast, fill out the form below.
There’s no obligation to sell to us. And your house may not even be one that we are interested in.
But at least we can point you in the right direction.