How does foreclosure work in Georgia?

Home should be a place of security, but when you are facing foreclosure it can feel like you are no longer safe in your own home.

Georgia is a non-judicial foreclosure state. Mortgage agreements in Georgia have a power of sale clause that allows lenders to foreclose on the property by itself. This means the lender can foreclose on your home without filing a suit or appearing in court before a judge. If you are facing a foreclosure, this is what happens during the process.

Default

The foreclosure process begins when the borrower is in default under the terms of the original promissory note or deed to secure debt. Usually the default occurs when the borrower has failed to make payments on the loan. A default can happen by failing to maintain property insurance, although most lenders will simply add property insurance into the cost of your loan. Neglecting to pay property taxes can also lead to foreclosure.

Notice of foreclosure

Once the account has entered default, the holder of the mortgage must send notice to the borrower of their intent to foreclose. In most cases you will not get much notice since the mortgage holder is only required to give you a 30 day notice before the proposed date of the foreclosure sale. The notice of foreclosure must be in writing and include the name, address and telephone number of someone at the mortgage company who can assist with stopping the foreclosure process.

The notice must be sent via certified mail with return receipt requested. It must also contain a copy of the advertisement that will be used to post notice of the foreclosure in the local newspaper. The holder of your mortgage must publish notice of the foreclosure in the official county newspaper for four consecutive weeks prior to the scheduled foreclosure sale. Although you can refuse to accept the notice, it does not invalidate the notice and the proceedings will carry on whether or not you accept. Also, having a copy of the notice gives you information about the foreclosure, which may be needed if you wish to stop or delay the proceedings.

Foreclosure sale

In Georgia, foreclosed property sales take place on the first Tuesday of every month at the courthouse in the county where the property is located. While bidding is open to the public, the mortgage holder is often the only bidder. The highest bidder becomes the new owner of the property and the mortgage holder signs a deed of foreclosure. In cases where the mortgage company is the only bidder, they will sign the deed of foreclosure to over to themselves.

There are options for Georgia homeowners to delay or stop foreclosure proceedings. Whether it involves curing the default, a short sale or something else entirely, there are options available to you but they need to be started as soon as your receive the notice. Get started on saving your home today.

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The Roberts Law Firm, P.C.

The Roberts Law Firm, P.C.
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Gainesville, GA 30501

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