The foreclosure process allows a lender to recover the amount owed on a defaulted loan by selling or taking ownership (repossession) of the property securing the loan. The foreclosure process begins when a borrower / owner defaults on loan payments (usually mortgage payments), and the lender files a public default notice, called a Notice of Default or Lis Pendens. The foreclosure process can end one of four ways:
- The borrower / owner reinstates the loan by paying off the default amount during a grace period determined by state law. This grace period is also known as pre-foreclosure.
- The borrower / owner sells the property to a third party during the pre-foreclosure period. The sale allows the borrower / owner to pay off the loan and then avoid having a foreclosure on his or her credit history.
- A third party buys the property at a public auction at the end of the pre-foreclosure period.
- The lender takes ownership of the property, usually with the intent to re-sell it on the open market. The lender can take ownership either through an agreement with the borrower / owner during pre-foreclosure or by buying back the property at the public auction. These are also known as bank-owned or REO properties (Real Estate Owned by the lender).
This description of the foreclosure process was written by realtytrac.com