How Long Can I Stay In My House Once I Stop Paying My Mortgage?
Number of Payments MissedIf you have only missed one payment, you will likely receive a reminder letter from your lender. Once you have missed three payments or more, the likelihood that your lender will file a foreclosure lawsuit increases. At this point, it is impossible to know how much longer you have in your home -- the bank has not yet begun taking the steps required to remove you from your home.
You Have Been ServedOnce you have been served with a summons, you will have thirty days to file an answer. If you do not file an answer, you can expect a default judgment to be entered in thirty to sixty days. It is possible that, due to the volume of pending cases, it may take longer for the case to be filed and for you to be served.
At this point, on average, you have nine to ten months left in your home.
Also keep in mind that if a bank fails to serve you personally, it can still serve you via publication of a notice in the newspaper. If you were served by publication, you may not be aware of the case until much later on. Skip ahead to "You have received a notice of default."
You Have Received A Notice of DefaultThe lender's attorney has a duty to send you a notice of default judgment. Once this notice is received, the sheriff's sale will likely occur in 45 to 90 days. After the sale, it may take up to 45 days to confirm the sale. Once the sale is confirmed, you will have thirty days to vacate the property.
If you do not vacate the property, the purchaser of your home will be able to file its order of possession with the county sheriff. The county sheriff will then schedule a time to evict you. How long this takes depends entirely upon the county. In Cook County, it can take two to three months due to the number of evictions pending. In DuPage County, it can take one or two months.
You Have Received A Notice of Sheriff's SaleIf you have received a notice indicating that your house is to be sold on a specific date, you generally have seventy-five days from the date of the sale until you no longer have a legal right to remain on the property. This may change, as sometimes sales are rescheduled.
You Have Received A "Red Notice" From The SheriffThis means that you have remained in the property past the date that your right to possession expired. This also means that the sheriff will be coming to evict you, normally within thirty days. If you haven't started looking for a new place to live, you need to start.
Not every county gives these warnings, so the sheriff may arrive sooner than you think.