What is the timeline of the foreclosure process in California?

Jeffrey Daniel Larkin

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Bankruptcy Attorney

Contributor Level 15

Posted about 5 years ago. 8 helpful votes



Approximately 90 Days After Missed Payment

The process usually begins 90 days after you have not made a payment with the filing of a Notice of Default. The Notice of Default is filed with the county recorders office and served on all interested parties. It specifies all of the pertinent information about the property, including the loan and the default amount. Upon the filing of the notice of default, lenders are prevented from taking further action against the property for a period of 90 days, in theory, to allow the borrower additional time to cure the arrears and redeem the property.


Notice of Trustee Sale

Once the 90 day notice of default period expires, the publication period begins whereby a Notice of Trustee Sale is recorded and published in a generally circulated newspaper in the city where the property is located. The notice must be published at least 3 times before the lender can foreclose on the property, the purpose being to provide notice to the borrower and any tenants who may be renting without knowledge of the pending foreclosure sale. The trustee sale date is calculated by adding 20 days to the date the property was first published in the newspaper.



As soon as the publication period runs, the property is sold to he highest bidder via a foreclosure sale. The property is literally sold on the courthouse steps, and a Deed Upon Sale is filed with the county recorders office transferring title. The property can be purchased by a third party bonafide purchaser, or the property reverts back to the lender who markets it for resale as a Real Estate Owned (REO) property.

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