When an individual falls behind on their mortgage payments, the lender can move to sell their home to repay the debt. Lenders must abide by specific laws and remain transparent with the borrower throughout the process. If the homeowner is unable to resolve outstanding debts, the lender will begin the foreclosure process.
Foreclosure occurs both inside and outside the court system depending on the state where the homeowner resides. In Maryland, foreclosure can be considered quasi-judicial because the court maintains some control over certain filings and other steps to ensure homeowners’ rights are protected. If you received a notice of default from your mortgage lender, you can expect the following during the judicial foreclosure process:
- If you fell behind in your mortgage payments, the bank must wait until you are 120 days behind to initiate a foreclosure.
- If the bank sends a notice of their intent to foreclose, you must repay missed payments along with costs and interest to stop the process.
- If the bank files a lawsuit, the lender is essentially asking the court for permission to sell your home and use the proceeds to pay the debt.
- If the bank serves you with an order to docket, this is official notice of the lawsuit against you. You generally have between 20 to 30 days to contest the lawsuit. If you do, you can explain to the judge why you feel you should be able to keep your home and if foreclosure is unwarranted. You may also be able to request mediation. If you do not respond, the bank may sell your home as soon as 45 days after you are served.
- If your home is put up for sale, the bank may opt to make a credit bid at the time of the sale. This means that if no buyers offer a higher offer, they automatically take ownership of the home. Certain states give borrowers a short time after the foreclosure auction to pay off the highest bidder or pay off the mortgage debt. Maryland does not. Once the auction is complete, your rights to retain the property are ended.
- If you must leave the property, you must voluntarily leave your home by the date required by law or face eviction.
If you are behind on your mortgage payments, do not be ashamed. There are things you can do to avoid losing your home. Contact an experienced real estate lawyer to learn more about your options.
Towson Real Estate Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Defend Clients Facing Foreclosure
Foreclosure is more common than you might imagine. The Towson real estate lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC will evaluate your case to determine what can be done to save your home. To learn more about the foreclosure process and what it means for you in the months ahead, schedule a free consultation by calling 443-589-0150 or contact us online to get started. With offices in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we represent clients throughout Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.