You can no longer make payments as required by the terms of the Note and Mortgage you signed to either finance the purchase of your property or pull equity from property through a refinance. The bank, not always, but generally is required to send you a notice which alerts you to their intent to accelerate the amounts due on the loan and initiate foreclosure if you do not "catch up" and cure the default. Depending on the terms of your mortgage contract, this notice will come at least 30 days prior to filing the foreclosure complaint.


Complaint/Lis Pendens

The lender, if they do not receive the entire balance due by the deadline outlined in their notice to you will refer the loan to an attorney to file a foreclosure action. Again, the norm is for this to be at least 30 days after the demand letter is sent to you. The attorney will also file with the County a Lis Pendens, which is a notice to the world that there is a lawsuit being filed affecting the property. You may be able to find out that a foreclosure has been filed prior to being served by just monitoring the county official records.



Once the Complaint is filed, a copy of it and summons are given to a process server to locate you and serve you. This is your official notice that the foreclosure has been filed and you are, assuming service was proper, under the personal jurisdiction of the court. This is usually completed within 30 days of the filing of the Complaint.



After service of the Complaint and summons, you have 20 days to file a responsive paper or the bank, through its attorney can ask the court to default you. If you do respond, you can raise defenses, try to dismiss the case, request documents and information from the bank (there are a variety of tools available in the Rules of Civil Procedure, but that exceeds the scope of this guide).


Motion for Summary Judgment

Once the Borrowers and other Defendants are defaulted or have responded, the bank will file its Motion for Summary Judgment and affidavits to support that motion. That Motion is a request to the court to basically award them everything they asked for in their Complaint, which is essentially, the right to sell the property to collect the amounts due to them.


Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment

The Bank is required to set and attend a hearing before their request for judgment will be granted. This generally occurs anywhere from 90-150 days from the date of filing the Complaint if the case is uncontested - meaning you do not hire an attorney and fight back.


Foreclosure Sale

If judgment is granted the clerk sets a foreclosure sale - this can be anywhere from 30-200 days from the date of entry of the judgment - depending on the County.


Transfer of Title

Ten days after the sale, if no objections to the sale are filed, the clerk issues title in favor of the party that purchased the property at foreclosure sale. At this time, you are officially not the owner of the property and can be evicted.