This article digs into the steps of foreclosure, which affects the different Georgia foreclosure timelines, and how long the foreclosure process takes in Georgia.
How long does it take for a house to go into foreclosure in Georgia?
Georgia Foreclosure Timeline: 120-Day Waiting Period
If you fall behind on mortgage payments, the lender cannot simply evict you.
A federal mortgage servicing law that went into effect in 2014 prohibits the bank from starting the foreclosure process in most cases unless the loan is more than 120 days past due.
After the 120 days in the foreclosure timeline in Georgia, the bank can pursue foreclosure under state law.
This 120-day waiting period gives homeowners the opportunity to apply for a loss mitigation option, such as a loan modification in Georgia.
A Georgia loan modification is a written agreement between you and the mortgage company to change the original terms of your mortgage. Terms that you normally change are the length of the loan, principal balance, or interest rate. If you obtain a permanent loan modification, then your monthly payment may be reduced to a more affordable amount.
(You can learn more about the federal waiting period in Delaying Foreclosure: The Dodd-Frank Act 120-Day Rule.)
Understanding Judicial Foreclosure & Non-Judicial Foreclosure
In Georgia, the foreclosing party can choose to use either a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure, although most lenders will select the faster, cheaper non-judicial process.
Here are short explanations about both types.
In Georgia, the lender must mail the borrower a notice of its intent to foreclose at least 30 days before the foreclosure sale.
Georgia Judicial Foreclosure Process
In the judicial foreclosure process in Georgia, the lender must file a lawsuit against the homeowner to obtain a court order.
After the court issues the order, the property is sold at auction.
Depending on the court’s caseload, the judicial process can take up to a year or longer to complete.
This may provide time for the homeowner to seek new financing, locate a buyer, or find other solutions.
The judicial process is only used if the loan agreement does not contain a power of sale clause.
A judicial foreclosure involves formal litigation through the state’s judicial court system.
Judicial foreclosure begins when the lender files a lawsuit in the courts.
If the homeowner doesn’t respond to the suit, the lender can get a default judgment, which means the homeowner automatically loses the case.
On the other hand, if the owner responds by filing an answer, both sides can request evidence from the other in a process called “foreclosure discovery requests.”
Discovery is the process where the parties ask for information and documents from each other before the trial through depositions and interrogatories.
During discovery, you can ask the lender to provide documents or other evidence that you need to back up your case.
But you must do so within the proper time frames and in the correct format. You have to respond to the lender’s discovery requests as well. Discovery can also lead to other motions and court hearings if you and the lender disagree about what should be provided.
The court might decide without holding a trial after hearing the lender’s summary judgment motion. This is a motion asking the judge to find that the other side lacks a triable issue of fact.
Or the case could go to trial. If the lender wins at summary judgment or trial, the home will be sold at a foreclosure sale.
Georgia Non-Judicial Foreclosure Process
With a non-judicial foreclosure, the lender can foreclose on the home without filing a lawsuit.
Instead, state law sets out specific out-of-court steps that the bank must complete before selling the home at a foreclosure sale.
For instance, the lender has to notify the borrower 30 days before the foreclosure sale and publish information about the foreclosure sale in a local newspaper.
After the bank completes these steps, it can continue with the foreclosure process, sell the home at a foreclosure auction, and the homeowners will go through a foreclosure eviction.
In the non-judicial foreclosure process or deed of the trust foreclosure process, a lender may initiate foreclosure without going to court if there is a power of sale clause in the loan agreement.
The power of sale clause is a pre-authorization from the borrower to sell the property in the event the borrower defaults on the loan ― the proceeds of the sale will cover the balance owed.
The clause usually sets forth the procedures for public notice and sale that the lender must follow.
If the loan documents are silent concerning the procedural requirements, then the lender must follow state laws.
How Long Does It Take For A Bank To Foreclose On Your Home In Atlanta, Georgia?
If you miss a payment, most loans include a grace period of ten or fifteen days after which time the loan servicer will assess a late fee.
(Loan servicers collect and process payments from homeowners, as well as handle loss mitigation applications and foreclosures for defaulted loans.)
The late fee is generally 5% of the overdue payment of principal and interest.
To find out the late charge amount and grace period for your loan, look at the promissory note that you signed.
This information can also be found on your monthly mortgage statement.
What Is The Foreclosure Process In Georgia?
In Georgia, lenders may foreclose on deeds of trusts or mortgages in default using either a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure process.
The judicial process of foreclosure, which involves filing a lawsuit to obtain a court order to foreclose, is used when no power of sale is present in the mortgage or deed of trust.
What Is The Law On Foreclosure In Georgia?
Georgia is among a few states with the shortest foreclosure timeline.
The average foreclosure process in Georgia from the issuance of the Notice of Default can take as little as 60 days in Georgia, whereas the national average is closer to four months.
The reason our timeline is so short is that the foreclosure process in Georgia often does not require a court order, thereby eliminating the case backlog that exists in other states.
According to Georgia law, lenders are allowed to follow one of two foreclosure processes; judicial foreclosure and non-judicial foreclosure (also known as a deed of trust).
The terms of the loan agreement determine which foreclosure process the lender will take.
Georgia Requirements For A Deed Of Trust Foreclosure Process
Lenders in Georgia are required to send notice of their intent to foreclose to the borrower no later than 30 days before the proposed foreclosure date.
This notice must be delivered by certified mail, return receipt requested.
The mortgage lender must also advertise the notice in the county newspaper once per week for four consecutive weeks before the foreclosure sale.
A copy of the publication must be included in the notice of intent to sell.
Foreclosure auctions are held on the first Tuesday of the month at the courthouse.
If the sale does not cover the amount remaining on the promissory note, the lender may sue you for the difference.
How Long Do You Have To Get Out Of Your House After Foreclosure In Georgia?
So, you’ve gone through the foreclosure process in Georgia and your house has been sold at the foreclosure auction. How long do you have before you’re kicked out with the Georgia foreclosure eviction process?
Georgia’s foreclosure eviction process can take the bank 14-30 days to complete.
In Georgia, once the paperwork is completed and approved, the new owner (usually an investor who has bought the house at a foreclosure auction) has the legal right to serve a 3-day “Notice to Quit”.
After the 3-day notice period ends, the sheriff may show up within several days, or up to several weeks.
Once the sheriff assigns an eviction date, the landlord has to post or serve it on the tenant. Basically, it tells the tenant to get out or be locked out. That means everyone on the household must vacate and all personal items must be removed.
Georgia Foreclosure Laws
Don’t lose your house by misunderstanding the Georgia foreclosure laws.
And don’t bury your head in the sand during the foreclosure process in Georgia. It takes months to sell your house with a Realtor and you only have a few months to sell the house before losing it to the foreclosure auction in Georgia.
You can read Georgia’s foreclosure laws in the Code of Georgia (sections 44-14-160 through 44-14-191).
According to federal laws, the mortgage company has to wait 120 days BEFORE they issue the first official notice or file for foreclosure. The reason you get 120 days is so that you have plenty of time to catch back up the payments or sell the house to avoid foreclosure in Georgia.
Also, under the Georgia foreclosure laws, the mortgage lender must attempt to contact you to discuss the delinquency no later than 36 days after you missed the first payment. They also must inform you via a letter that you are delinquent.
How To Stop Foreclosure In Georgia
There are several ways to stop foreclosure in Georgia, like:
- Short sale your house.
- Deed-In-Lieu of Foreclosure.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
- Sell your house fast in Atlanta to an Investor.
If you want to stop foreclosure or avoid foreclosure in Georgia, you have foreclosure options. The foreclosure option that has the most impact is selling your home to a company like Breyer Home Buyers.
We buy houses in Atlanta Georgia and the surrounding areas from people facing foreclosure in GA or people in the depths of foreclosure in Georgia.
When we buy your house in Atlanta:
- You won’t have to make repairs
- Your credit score won’t be ruined
- You can buy another house
- You don’t have to manage contractors
- You don’t have to pay Georgia Realtor commissions