What Happens After Foreclosure in Georgia?
Foreclosure is the process of a bank or lender retaking possession of a property after its owner falls behind on their mortgage payments. In Georgia, there are two types of foreclosures: judicial and non-judicial. However, regardless of whether a lender goes through the courts, what happens after foreclosures remains the same.
How Long Does a Foreclosure Take in Georgia?
In Georgia, the average process takes between one to three months. Because Georgia laws permit non-judicial foreclosures, lenders can foreclose on homes by simply sending a notice of intent to foreclose and then selling the property at auction. This is known as exercising the “power of sale.”
When you fall behind on your payments, your creditor can send you a notice of intent to foreclose, stating that you must pay off your mortgage in full within 30 days or your house will be sold at a public sale. Creditors are also required to publicly advertise the sale once a week for four weeks.
In Georgia, foreclosure sales typically occur on the first Tuesday of the month. This means that the timing is crucial, and if there is any sort of delay, the sale will be moved to the following month. However, foreclosures can technically occur within as few as 30 days.
Homeowners and Tenants
While many homeowners choose to simply move out after their houses are sold in foreclosure, if you don’t move out on your own, the new owner must make a demand for possession of the property and begin eviction proceedings. In Georgia, the eviction process usually takes between 14 to 30 days. After you have been evicted, you will have to move out and take all of your possessions with you.
However, for people who rent houses or apartments, the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA) allows you to stay for 90 days or the remainder of the lease term after the property is sold. This means that if the home you rent is foreclosed on, you cannot be evicted immediately after the sale just because the new owner wants you out.
Know Your Rights
It’s essential that homeowners know their rights when dealing with these situations so that predatory lenders don’t take advantage of them. In general, lenders must provide borrowers with opportunities to mitigate their losses and adhere to Georiga foreclosure laws. Additionally, your contract with the lender may also provide you with more contractual rights on top of the legal protections created by the laws.
How Can You Avoid Foreclosure?
For many people, filing for bankruptcy is the best way to stop foreclosure in Georgia. When you file, the court will issue an “automatic stay” that temporarily prohibits the lender from foreclosing on your home, even after the process has begun. This stay is so powerful that it can even stop a sale scheduled for the next day.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties and cannot afford your mortgage payments, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help address the underlying debt that is getting in the way of paying your home loan on time. While it won’t eliminate your mortgage, bankruptcy can wipe out about 90% of your other debts, freeing up funds to be used for your home loan.
The experienced Georgia bankruptcy lawyers at DebtStoppers have years of experience helping our clients avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes. Call or text us today at 678-673-2142 to request a free initial consultation.