How Long Does House Foreclosure Take?

The heart of a family is its home, but it’s easy for a home to start feeling like a jail when mortgage payments are overdue. Louisiana homeowners who are in danger of losing their homes should educate themselves as soon as possible on the foreclosure process.

Because Louisiana is a judicial foreclosure state, the length of time for foreclosing on a Louisiana home might differ depending on the court schedule, just like it is in other judicial foreclosure states. Most of the time, it takes a lender between 6 and 9 months to foreclose a Louisiana property.

Do you worry about losing your home? If you are going through the foreclosure process or believe you will soon lose your house, you do not have to go through it alone. At E. Orum Young Law, our Monroe bankruptcy attorney knows the defenses that can help you keep your house while also saving you money. 

With vast experience and knowledge with the foreclosure law, we have helped numerous Louisiana homeowners in avoiding foreclosure and would want to help you as well. Call us now for a free case review to find out how we can help you!

What Is Foreclosure?

how long does house foreclosure take Foreclosure happens when a lender seizes property backed by a mortgage loan after the debt has gone unpaid for a certain length of time. The length of time varies by jurisdiction, although it is usually no less than 120 days (more on that below). 

Mortgage loans need collateral in the form of the house being purchased, which means the lender has the right to seize and sell the house to recover money that was lost if the borrower fails to pay the loan.

In a Louisiana Foreclosure, You Will Almost Certainly Be Granted the Following Rights:

  • receive a breach letter informing you prior to the foreclosure
  • submit an application for loss mitigation
  • receive notification of the foreclosure
  • If you’re in the military, you can get special protections, 
  • pay off your loan to stop a foreclosure sale, 
  • keep any extra money after the foreclosure sale.

So, if you’re a Louisiana homeowner who’s fallen behind on your mortgage, don’t get caught off guard. Learn what happens when you miss your first payment in Louisiana and how the foreclosure auction works. Once you know what to expect, you can make the best of the situation and figure out how to avoid losing your house altogether, if not at least get through the process with little stress.

The Foreclosure Timeline Varies Significantly, but the Stages are Consistent

  • First missed payment: Following the first missed mortgage payment, the lender contacts the borrower to urge them to resume making their payments.
  • Mortgage default: A mortgage is said to be in default when it is 90 days past due, or when the borrower has been in arrears for four consecutive months.
  • Notice of default: When a debt is 90 days past due, the lender normally serves a notice of default, announcing its intention to foreclose. Unless the borrower gets their payments up to date, the letter usually implies that judicial foreclosure will commence in 90 days. (This signals the beginning of the preforeclosure stage.)
  • Start of foreclosure: If the borrower is unable to resume making payments, the lender asks the appropriate court to start foreclosure, and the court names a trustee to run the auction of the property. Here is where the timetable for foreclosures might vary the most:
    • In states that permit nonjudicial foreclosures, submitting the proper documents to the court is virtually all that is required to start the process, and foreclosure may typically be completed within months.
    • Other jurisdictions such as Louisiana need judicial foreclosures, which are often delayed by court calendar backlogs since each stage of the process has to be approved by the court. 
    • A federal moratorium on foreclosures was implemented throughout the country for most of 2020 and 2021 in order to protect Americans from losing their homes owing to financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. The moratorium’s latest extension ends on June 30, 2021.
  • Notice of trustee sale: In line with local laws, the trustee displays signs in public locations and publishes notices in local publications several weeks before the auction, defining the property as well as its location and indicating when it will be auctioned.
  • Auction: The trustee auctions off the property, establishing a minimum offer based on the appraised value, the outstanding mortgage payment, other liens linked with the property and any unpaid tax bills. The property is awarded to the highest bidder who meets or surpasses the minimum bid.
  • REO: If the minimum bid is not met, the foreclosed property becomes real estate-owned (REO), or in the lender’s ownership. REO homes are sold as-is and are often available at below-market prices.
  • Notice of eviction: If the property is sold at auction or taken over as REO by the creditor, the tenants are given the notice to evacuate the property if they have not already done so. If they don’t leave within a certain amount of time (say, 72 hours), police enforcement will usually escort them from the property, confiscate any possessions they leave behind, and padlock the property on behalf of the new owners.

Why Do I Need a Louisiana Foreclosure Attorney?

 If you are facing foreclosure, others may have advised you to hire a bankruptcy attorney who can help you in the process. A foreclosure attorney helps you every step of the way of foreclosure proceedings. Here are a few (but not the only) good reasons to have a bankruptcy lawyer help you with a foreclosure issue:

  • File a Notice of Appearance. A notice of appearance (NOA) alerts the court and lender that you’re represented. Once it’s filed, all correspondence and crucial papers about your foreclosure will be delivered to your attorney. You won’t have to operate as a go-between for your lender and attorney, which could cause mistakes. An attorney will file your NOA, making your case less stressful from the start.
  • Answer the Summons and Complaint. Louisiana is a judicial foreclosure state. This means that before your lender can foreclose on your house, it must first file a lawsuit against you. You’ll be issued a summons and complaint after they file the case, making you a defendant. If you don’t reply to these summons and complaints, you’ll lose your house by default.

But you do have a limited amount of time to answer this complaint and summons. When you respond, you’re notifying the court and your lender that you’re prepared to fight the case. An attorney knowledgeable of Louisiana foreclosure laws will write a response to the summons and complaint and flag any mistakes you missed.

  • Appear at Settlement Conferences or Mediation. Eligible homeowners can use a settlement conference or mediation to avoid foreclosure. A foreclosure defense attorney will attend these meetings with you or on your behalf, will represent your best interests, and make the process less stressful. 
  • Put Together a Solid Defense Against Foreclosure. Louisiana foreclosure defense attorneys are skilled and experienced in using defensive strategies. An attorney will know when a creditor can’t foreclose owing to a faulty mortgage assignment. They’ll spot unfair lending practices and other lender mistakes that might prevent foreclosure. All of these defenses can potentially postpone your foreclosure for years.

Monroe Bankruptcy Attorney

If you live in or around Monroe, Louisiana, and feel like you’re sinking beneath a mountain of debt, you’re not alone. After more than three decades of practice, the bankruptcy lawyers at E. Orum Young Law have been the go-to resource for Louisiana residents seeking relief from overwhelming debt. 

We’re here to help you get back on solid financial ground and get your head above water. Our Louisiana bankruptcy lawyers provide top-rated representation, personal attention, and reasonable rates. Call us now for a free case review!