Like any other lawsuit, a foreclosure begins with a summons. The party who was served has 20 days to respond to the summons. Attached to the summons is a complaint stating that you have failed to make payments in accord with the terms of your mortgage, and a Lis Pendens, notice of pending action that has been filed.
If you do not respond to the complaint, you will receive a notice of default, and the allegations against you are presumed to have been admitted. After several pleadings, a Motion for Summary Judgment will be filed stating that all the facts are undisputed. The court then sets a hearing with a judge. When a Summary Final Judgment for Foreclosure has been entered, a sale date is set for the property (roughly 30-45 days later). Your property will be sold in an auction for a cash sale. The mortgage holder can bid as much as the amount owed.
Approximately 14 days later, a certificate of title is issued to the purchaser. At this point, the purchaser has the right to request a Writ of Possession which is served on anyone residing in the property. This allows 24 hours to vacate the property, after which the Sheriff can remove the old tenants from the property.
Currently it takes about 1 year to foreclose a mortgage. Some may be pending for 18 months, 2 years, or more depending on the parties involved. If you are in danger of foreclosure, Waller & Mitchell would be happy to provide guidance and will likely be able to extend the length of the foreclosure for you. Please give us a call at (727) 847-2288.