The Foreclosure Process in Georgia
Updated on 02 May 2023
Georgia is among a few states with the shortest foreclosure timeline. The average foreclosure process from the issuance of the Notice of
Default can take as little as 60 days in Georgia, whereas the national average is closer to four months. The reason our timeline is so
short is because the foreclosure process in Georgia often does not require a court order, thereby eliminating the case backlog that exists in
According to Georgia law, lenders are allowed to follow one of two
foreclosure processes: judicial foreclosure and
non-judicial foreclosure (also known as deed of trust). The terms of the loan agreement determine which foreclosure process the
lender will take.
What's the difference?
Judicial foreclosure ― In this process, the lender must file a lawsuit against the homeowner to obtain a
court order. After the court issues the order, the property is sold at auction. Depending on the court's caseload, the
judicial process can take up to year or longer to complete. This may provide time for the homeowner to seek new financing, locate a buyer,
or find other solutions. The judicial process is only used if the loan agreement does not contain a power of sale clause.
Non-judicial or deed of trust foreclosure ― A lender may initiate foreclosure without going to court if
there is a power of sale clause in the loan agreement. The power of sale clause is a pre-authorization from the borrower to sell the
property in the event the borrower defaults on the loan ― the proceeds of the sale will cover the balance owed. The clause usually sets
forth the procedures for public notice and sale that the lender must follow. If the loan documents are silent concerning the procedural
requirements, then the lender must follow state laws.
Georgia requirements for deed of trust foreclosure procedures
Lenders in Georgia are required to send notice of their intent to foreclose to the borrower no later than 30 days before the proposed
foreclosure date. This notice must be delivered by certified mail, return receipt requested. The mortgage lender must also advertise
the notice in the county newspaper once per week for four consecutive weeks before the foreclosure sale. A copy of the publication
must be included in the notice of intent to sale.
Foreclosure auctions are held on the first Tuesday of the month at the courthouse. If the sale does not cover the amount remaining on
the promissory note, the lender may sue you for the difference.
If your lender fails to follow the Georgia foreclosure timeline,
you may have grounds to challenge the foreclosure. To learn more about your rights, contact DebtStoppers, Bankruptcy Law Firm & Assoc., LLC. Our foreclosure attorneys have the skills and experience to
aggressively protect your home.
What happens in a foreclosure?
In a foreclosure, the lender takes legal action to repossess the property securing a delinquent mortgage. Once the foreclosure process begins, the borrower must either bring the mortgage payments up to date, sell the property, or face the loss of the property through a foreclosure sale.
How long does foreclosure take?
The length of time for a foreclosure to be completed varies by state and the specific circumstances of the case. In Georgia, the foreclosure process can take as little as 60 days, one of the shortest timelines in the nation. However, the timeline may be longer if the foreclosure process requires a court order or if there are challenges to the process.
Overall, it is important for homeowners facing foreclosure to seek legal advice and explore all options to protect their homes and financial stability.
Understanding Your Options to Avoid Foreclosure
When facing the possibility of foreclosure, it's essential to know your options and take proactive steps to protect your home and financial future. There are several alternatives available to homeowners who find themselves in this challenging situation:
A loan modification involves negotiating with your lender to change the terms of your mortgage, making the payments more manageable. This might include a lower interest rate, an extended loan term, or a temporary reduction in monthly payments. Loan modifications can help homeowners avoid foreclosure by making their mortgage payments more affordable.
A short sale is an agreement between the homeowner and the lender to sell the property for less than the outstanding mortgage balance. The lender typically agrees to accept the sale proceeds as full satisfaction of the debt, thereby avoiding the need for a foreclosure. This option may be more appealing to lenders because it can result in lower losses and shorter recovery times compared to foreclosures.
Forbearance is a temporary agreement between the homeowner and the lender to suspend or reduce mortgage payments for a specific period. This option can provide temporary relief for homeowners facing financial hardships, such as job loss or medical emergencies. At the end of the forbearance period, the homeowner will need to resume regular payments and make up the missed payments either through a repayment plan or a lump sum.
Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure
A deed in lieu of foreclosure is a voluntary agreement between the homeowner and the lender where the homeowner transfers the property title to the lender in exchange for the release of their mortgage debt. This option can help homeowners avoid the negative consequences of foreclosure, such as credit damage and legal fees. However, a deed in lieu may not be an ideal solution for homeowners with multiple liens on their property, as these liens must be addressed before the transaction can be completed.
Seek Legal Advice
When facing foreclosure, it's crucial to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney to explore all available options and protect your rights. An attorney can help you understand the foreclosure process in Georgia, negotiate with your lender, and guide you through the best course of action to preserve your home and financial stability.