Understanding the foreclosure process in Savannah and how the foreclosure process works is an important part of navigating your own situation and how to stop foreclosure on your house.
Before we dive in…
What is the Foreclosure Process in Savannah Georgia
What does foreclosure mean?
Foreclosure is the name of the legal process that lenders use to take back property, generally, after the borrower stops making their mortgage payments.
Foreclosure is no fun for anyone involved. It’s stressful, complicated, and time-consuming. If you find yourself facing foreclosure in Savannah, know that it’s not the end of the world.
When you understand how the foreclosure process in Georgia works, it prepares you with the knowledge to make sure you navigate it well and come out of the foreclosure process as well as possible.
The Basic Stages of A Foreclosure
There are a few stages that are important to any foreclosure process.
Foreclosure works the same around Georgia. So it does not matter if you are in Savannah, Chatham County, Bulloch County, Liberty County, or any other city/county in GA.
According to the state website, Georgia is a “non-judicial foreclosure” state. What that means is the mortgage lender can foreclose on your home without having to file suit or appear in court before a judge.
In general, foreclosure typically doesn’t happen until 3-6 months of missed payments have elapsed. Usually (but not always), a lender will send out several written notices that you are overdue or behind in your payment.
The 4 Steps to Foreclosure in Georgia:
The foreclosure process begins when a homeowner defaults under the terms of the original promissory note or deed to secure debt. The most common type of default is your failure to make the required payments on the loan. Along with missing mortgage payments, defaults can also occur for failing to maintain property insurance or pay your property taxes.
2- Notice to the borrower of intent to foreclose
The mortgage holder (lender) must send notice to the borrower of its intent to foreclose. Under Georgia law, the notice must be sent at least 30 days before the proposed date of the foreclosure sale. By law, the notice must be in writing and include the name, address, and telephone number of someone who has the authority to negotiate, amend, and modify the terms of the mortgage with the borrower. The notice must be sent by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested. The notice must also include a copy of the advertisement of the foreclosure sale that will be published in the official county newspaper. Even if the borrower refuses to accept the notice, the notice will still be valid.
In addition to the borrower, anyone who has an interest in the property must also be notified of the foreclosure.
3- Publish Foreclosure Notice
The mortgage holder must publish notice of the foreclosure in the official county newspaper for public announcements where the real property is located for four consecutive weeks prior to the scheduled foreclosure.
4- Foreclosure Sale
The foreclosure sale will take place on the courthouse steps in the county where the property is located. By law, foreclosure sales take place on the first Tuesday of the month between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Bidding is open to the public, but the mortgage holder often is the only bidder. The mortgage holder will sign a deed of foreclosure to the winning bidder, which may well be itself. At that point, the winning bidder becomes the new owner of the property.
What Happens After A Foreclosure Auction?
After a foreclosure is complete, the loan amount is paid off with the sale proceeds.
Sometimes, if the sale of the property at auction isn’t enough to pay off the loan, a deficiency judgment can be issued against the borrower. A deficiency judgment is where the bank gets a judgment against you, the borrower, for the remaining funds owed to the bank on the loan amount after the foreclosure sale.
The new owner of the property may file a dispossessory action to evict the borrower from the home. Once the foreclosure sale is complete, the former borrower no longer has rights to live in the property.
Generally, it’s best to avoid a foreclosure auction. Instead, call up the bank, or work with a reputable real estate firm like us at Cash Homes Savannah to help you negotiate discounts off the amount owed to avoid having to carry out a foreclosure.
Experienced investors can help you by negotiating directly with banks to lower the amount you owe in a sale – or even eliminate it, even if your home is worth less than you owe.
Connect with us by calling (912) 421-0714 or through our contact page to have us walk you through the process here locally in Savannah Georgia and your options on how to stop foreclosure.
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Free “Stop Foreclosure In Savannah Georgia” Resources For Homeowners:
- Resources On Avoiding Foreclosure from the U.S. Government >>
- More articles on how to stop foreclosure by selling your house fast