Facing Foreclosure: Avoiding foreclosure in Atlanta – How?

Did you know that Georgia (which includes Atlanta) is among a few states with the shortest foreclosure timeline? If you’re a homeowner who is facing foreclosure in Atlanta and has no idea on the hows of avoiding foreclosure that would eventually lead to selling a foreclosed home, please watch this video.

How To Save Yourself & Your House From Foreclosure
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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 (4) months. Homeowners facing foreclosure in Atlanta need to act fast with that timeline. The earlier the better.

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. Because of this, homeowners in Georgia may have less time or chance avoiding foreclosure at all. If you’re facing foreclosure right now – every day counts especially when the foreclosure phase at your end already started.

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.

Atlanta Foreclosure Timeline

As said earlier, Georgia is a “non-judicial foreclosure” state. That means the lender can foreclose on your home without filing suit or appearing in court before a judge. The procedures for foreclosure are spelled out in the Official Code of Georgia, Sections 44-14-162 through 44-14-162.4.


Facing foreclosure in Atlanta requires you to know these three (3) phases in avoiding foreclosure

Foreclosure Phase #1: Default payments

Finding yourself facing foreclosure is hard as it means your financial capability is rocky. Being aware of your missed payments is the first thing you need to do in avoiding foreclosure. If you miss a payment, most loans include a grace period of ten or fifteen (10-15) 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.

Foreclosure Phase #2: Official Foreclosure Notice

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

  • apply for a loan modification
  • refinance
  • avail state programs
  • you can sell with SureClosing

Hence, you need to pay attention when they give you a Notice of Default (triggers the foreclosure process). They’ll be sending you tons of copies and post a notice outside the house. Normally, the servicer will send this letter when you’re around 90 days’ delinquent on the loan. If you don’t cure the default, the foreclosure will start.

Foreclosure Phase #3: The Foreclosure Intent

Lenders in Georgia are required to send Notice of 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. In the notice of intent to sell, a copy of the publication must be included.

Do take note that 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.

In facing foreclosure, what is the best contingency plan after everything else fails?

It is stated earlier that there is a 120-day waiting period provided by law that gives homeowners the opportunity to apply for a loss mitigation option, such as applying for a loan modification, refinancing, availing state programs, and opting for a short-sale with SureClosing.

What is a short-sale and why it is the best option?

Also known as a pre-foreclosure sale, a short sale is when you sell your home for less than the balance remaining on your mortgage. If your mortgage company agrees to a short sale, you can sell your home and pay off all (or a portion of) your mortgage balance with the proceeds. However, depending on your situation, you may be required to make a financial contribution to receive a short sale.

A short sale (selling a foreclosed home) is an alternative to foreclosure and may be an option if:

  • You are ineligible to refinance or modify your mortgage
  • You are facing a long-term hardship
  • You are behind on your mortgage payments
  • You owe more on your home than it’s worth
  • You have not been able to sell your home at a price that covers what you still owe on your mortgage
  • You can no longer afford your home and are ready or need to leave

Foreclosures are often hated by lenders and banks because, even for them, they are legal financial and PR headaches. That’s why most lenders agree to a short sale with their clients facing foreclosure as a way of avoiding foreclosure and its very lengthy and tedious process.

Did you know that agreeing to a short sale is a desperate action for a lender to take? Lenders don’t want to lose money on mortgages, but they also don’t want to spend their time foreclosing on, owning, and selling a foreclosed home again and again.

“The banks really don’t want to foreclose because it costs them money,” says Rosanne Nitti, a Realtor with RMN Investments & Realty Services, in Laguna Beach, CA.

So, after you spend a lot of time filling out paperwork and explaining how you got into this financial predicament, you might be able to persuade your lender to work with you on a short sale. A short sale is the best option for you as it avoids foreclosure and the huge hit your credit score can take as the result of a foreclosure. As much as they don’t admit, avoiding foreclosure as much as possible is also a lender’s goal. It is a win-win solution between you and the lender on selling a foreclosed home.

How to save yourself and your house from foreclosure?

The foreclosure option that has the most impact is selling your home to a company like SureClosing. 

We buy houses in Atlanta and the surrounding areas from people facing foreclosure in GA or even from people in the depths of foreclosure.

When SureClosing 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 SureClosing a realtor commission
  • In the end, avoiding foreclosure is easy for you and your family

[Read: 5 Hidden Costs of Working With Atlanta Metro Real Estate Agent]

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