When a person buys a home, the last thing he or she expects to face is a foreclosure. However, in the last year many people have faced unprecedented financial challenges which may make this a concern for some homeowners. It’s helpful to understand the foreclosure process in Georgia.
Default and notice
Foreclosure starts with a default. A default means that the borrower has not made the required payments on the mortgage. Sometimes, this also happens if the borrower does not pay the property insurance or the property taxes.
In Georgia, a lender can foreclose on a home without filing suit or appearing in court. The mortgage holder, however, is required to send a notice to the borrower of its intent to foreclose. The notice must be in writing and it must be sent at least 30 days in advance of the foreclosure sale.
The mortgage holder must also publish notice of the foreclosure in the newspaper in the place where the property is located. It must be published for four weeks before the foreclosure.
The foreclosure sale takes place in the county where the property is located.
There may be some options to avoid foreclosure. The lender may allow the borrower to make a cash payment so the mortgage is current.
Sometimes, the lender may also consider a short sale but it needs to be approved in advance. A short sale occurs when the borrower sells the home for less than the balance remaining on the mortgage. The lender then accepts those proceeds and cancels the mortgage.
An experienced attorney can help explain the foreclosure process further and answer any questions the borrower may have.