(MCT)—Fannie Mae has publicly assured homeowners going through foreclosure that they will be protected from losing their homes while applying for a federally funded loan modification. They can apply for a modification at any point before or during the foreclosure process. If a modification is approved, homeowners can keep their homes if they make their adjusted payments. Absent that, here are the stages of a typical foreclosure:
1) In default: A loan is in default when a mortgage payment is 30 days late.
2) Warning: When a loan is 60 days past due, the bank, credit union or mortgage company warns that foreclosure is the next step.
3) Proceedings begin: After 90 days, the lender refers the loan to its foreclosure department, and hires a local lawyer to begin foreclosure proceedings.
4) Sale advertised: The lender’s lawyer advertises the property for sale for four consecutive weeks in a local newspaper. The sheriff’s sale date is listed in the advertisement.
5) Sale held: The sale is held on the published date. A sheriff’s employee conducts a courthouse auction and the highest bidder wins, usually the bank that owned or serviced the mortgage.
6) Sheriff’s deed: The winning bidder gets a sheriff’s deed that lists the last date the homeowner can redeem, or take back, the property, usually six months from the date of the sheriff’s sale. During this redemption period, the homeowner can live in the property or try to sell it.
7) Redemption period: To redeem a property, the homeowner must pay off the mortgage and all interest and late fees, court and attorney fees, title and appraisal fees, taxes and insurance. Otherwise, they will be evicted from the home.
(c) 2011, Detroit Free Press.