If you’ve gotten a foreclosure notice of default and want to know what the heck is going on, keep reading.
Basically, a foreclosure notice of default is a document that has to be filed by a lender to start the process of foreclosure.
The foreclosure notice of default must be sent to anyone who has an interest in the property (any other loans, lenders, or even contractors who are owed money for work done to a property will get a copy).
The foreclosure notice of default must also be published in a newspaper and physically posted in a prominent place on the property itself.
Although this can be really embarrassing to someone going through foreclosure, it’s actually a very important protection for consumers.
Back before US law required a notice of default, people were sometimes foreclosed on without any warning.
In fact, it’s happened even in the past few years – at least one bank has accidentally foreclosed on the wrong property and kicked people out of their house without due process or warning. It’s even happened around Phoenix.
The notice of default is a very important step within the foreclosure process that gives people with an interest in the property to step forward and claim their rights – before it’s too late.
If you’ve received a notice of default, don’t wait. Time is definitely of the essence, and you should take action.
Here are a few key steps you should take:
1) Stay calm and don’t panic.
This may sound obvious, but it’s probably the most important. Anyone in foreclosure is dealing with a lot of stress beyond just the property. These situations don’t happen overnight, and they take a while to solve. You’ll get through it by practicing good coping techniques and taking good care of yourself and your family. Panic leads to bad decisions, so stay cool.
2) Educate yourself.
Learn everything you can about the foreclosure process in your state so that you know what’s happening and what’s coming up next.
3) Gather your resources.
There’s also many non-profit and government resources available out there. You’ll want good legal and tax advice along the way. Definitely don’t try to do it all yourself. This stuff is super complicated with lots of rules.
4) Learn your options.
We’re here to help you avoid foreclosure. We buy houses with cash. We can help you with short sales and even rent-back situations so you (potentially) may be able to keep living in your home. There are many more options than you think.
The banks involved don’t want your property. They want money, and what you say matters a lot. You can slow down or stop the foreclosure process if you take the appropriate action.
Want to know more?
What Happens if You Miss a Mortgage Payment
If you miss a payment, the servicer can usually charge a late fee after the grace period expires. Most mortgage loans give a grace period of ten to fifteen days, for example, before you’ll incur late charges. To find out the grace period in your situation and the amount of the late fee, review the promissory note or your monthly billing statement.
If you miss a few mortgage payments, the servicer will probably send letters and call you to try to collect. Federal mortgage servicing laws require the servicer to contact you (or attempt to contact you) by phone to discuss foreclosure alternatives—called “loss mitigation” options—no later than 36 days after a missed payment and again within 36 days after each following missed payment. No more than 45 days after a missed payment, the servicer must let you know in writing about loss mitigation options that could be available, and assign personnel to help you. Some exceptions to a few of these requirements exist, like if you file for bankruptcy or tell the servicer not to contact you under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. (12 C.F.R. § 1024.39).
What Is a Breach Letter?
Many deeds of trust in Arizona have a provision that requires the lender to send a breach letter if you fall behind in payments. This notice tells you that the loan is in default. If you don’t cure the default, the lender can accelerate the loan (call it due) and go ahead with the foreclosure.
When Does Foreclosure Start?
Federal law generally requires the servicer to wait until the loan is over 120 days delinquent before officially starting a foreclosure. However, in a few situations, like if you violate a due-on-sale clause or if the servicer is joining the foreclosure action of a superior or subordinate lienholder, the foreclosure can begin sooner. (12 C.F.R. § 1024.41).
State Foreclosure Laws in Arizona
Again, most Arizona foreclosures are nonjudicial. Here’s how the process works.
Notice of the Foreclosure
In Arizona, the trustee starts the foreclosure process by the recording of a notice of sale in the county recorder’s office. The notice must include the date, time, and place of the sale. The sale date can’t be sooner than the 91st day after the notice of sale’s recording date. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 33-808(C)(1)).
The trustee must then mail you (the borrower) a copy of the notice of sale by registered or certified mail within five business days after the recording date. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 33-809(C)).
The notice of sale must also be:
- posted at least 20 days before the sale in a conspicuous place on the property, if posting can be done without breaching the peace
- posted at a building that serves as a location of the superior court in the county where the property is to be sold, and
- published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the property is located at least once a week for four consecutive weeks, with the last publication not less than ten days before the sale. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 33-808).
The Foreclosure Sale
The sale is a public auction. The sale will be held at the time and place designated in the notice of sale on a day other than a Saturday or legal holiday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. mountain standard time. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 33-808(B)).