What Does "Foreclosure" Mean In Real Estate?

For all homeowners, the idea of foreclosure is a scary one. No one wants to lose his or her home. Because the term is so frightening, many homeowners do not understand what foreclosure means and its long-term ramifications. Here is a simple explanation of what foreclosure is. Foreclosure is the legal process by which the right of homeownership is transferred from the person or persons who occupy the home to the bank or lender who hold the mortgage loan. The foreclosure process will usually begin when homeowners stop making payments on mortgage loans. Lenders will begin the foreclosure process after two or three months of missed payments. The lender issues a letter, which is usually sent by certified mail. This letter is called a “notice of default.” It states that the property is undergoing foreclosure proceedings and will be on sale to the public soon. The period of time over which this will occur will be mentioned in the notice of default. This is the time when the homeowner will want to contact the lender and try to work out some sort of repayment plan that is satisfactory to both parties in order to get the late payments caught up and the mortgage loan back into good standing. If the homeowner receives the notice of default but the owner does not contact the lender, the lender will proceed with further action. The homeowner will receive notice that he or she will have 90 days to bring the outstanding balance current. During those 90 days, if the balance is cleared, the lender will stop all actions of a foreclosure and the property will remain the property of the owner. However, if the owner does not pay the outstanding balance within the designated time period, the property will be auctioned. Once the auction occurs, the lender will be able to recover the money that was lost when the original homeowner stopped making payments. Foreclosure is not something anyone wants. The lenders do not want it to happen because they have enough property to unload and really do not want to have to deal with any others. The homeowners do not wish for it to happen because they will lose their homes and damage their credit ratings. Pay your mortgage on time every month and completely avoid the possibility of foreclosure. Unfortunately, things such as divorce, death of a spouse and even unexpected medical bills arise and need to be dealt with. If you find yourself in any of these situations, it is in your best interest to contact the lender and explain the situation. It is possible that the lender will work with you. Related real estate articles on Foreclosure:
Back to top
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.