Greater Atlanta Real Estate

What Is Foreclosure?

Foreclosure is a legal process that a lender initiates to gain title to a home that was used as collateral for the mortgage loan that is now in default. A foreclosure terminates all the homeowner’s rights covered by a mortgage, and makes the lender the absolute owner of the property. The process starts when the homeowner fails to make payments of the money due on the mortgage at the specified time and the lender files suit. A lender may send a Notice of Delinquency, which is a notice to a borrower with property as security under a mortgage or deed of trust that he/she is delinquent in payments. If the money that is owed plus legal fees for preparing papers for the default, is not paid within a certain time, foreclosure proceedings may begin.

The lender may also file a Lis Pendes, which is a formal notice that starts the process. If this is filed, the homeowner is required to appear in court to answer the allegations. The homeowner may ask for an extension, which may or may not be granted. If it is not granted, the last phase of the foreclosure process begins, which is known as the Auction phase. The foreclosing trustee prepares and records the notice of foreclosure. The notice details the legal description of the property being foreclosed upon and gives the date, time and place of the pending trustee sale.

A foreclosure is complete when the lender obtains title to the property, the Sheriff or Trustee's deed is recorded and status code 46 is reported to the Single Family Default Monitoring System. The whole foreclosure process usually takes around 180 days from the first missed payment until the completion of the foreclosure. The whole process can seem overwhelming and using the help of a professional can make it all easier. Let The Safford Group assist you in this course of action.


We at The Safford Group, REALTORS do our best to provide you with current and accurate information.  However, we are not attorneys or accountants.   Please consult with your attorney or CPA for further information and how this information may affect you personally.

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