What is the foreclosure process in Georgia?

If you own a home in Georgia and find yourself having trouble with the payments, you may enter the foreclosure process. Without a solid understanding of how this process works, you may deal with extensive stress and anxiety as you face the possibility of losing your house. According to RealtyTrac, 1 in every 2091 homeowners in Georgia will foreclose on their homes, some going to auction and others ending as bank-owned properties.

The Office of Attorney General Chris Carr lists Georgia as a non-judicial foreclosure state. This means that a lender does not have to appear in court before a judge or file a suit before they can foreclose on your home. The first step in the process is your inability to pay the required payments on the home loan. This leads to a default, which can also be caused by failing to pay your property taxes or to maintain insurance on your home.

The mortgage holder must then send a notice to you that they intend to foreclose. Under state law, you must be given at least a 30-day notice before the foreclosure sale. This notice must be sent by certified or registered mail and be in writing with the telephone number, address and name of someone who can work with you to modify, amend or negotiate the terms of your loan.

At this point, notice of the foreclosure sale must be published in an official county newspaper. Then the holder of the mortgage must file proof with the county clerk that the entity owns the title. Once these terms have been met, a foreclosure sale may take place in the county where the property is on the courthouse steps. The public may bid but often the mortgage holder is the only one to place a bid, and a deed of foreclosure is given to the highest bidder. Once this is done, the bidder, who may be the current mortgage holder, then owns the property.

This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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