What Happens Now?
A foreclosure action has been filed.
The Law Offices of Barbara Quinn Smith for a free consultation or contact us for more information.
Day 1 - Foreclosure proceedings begin when your mortgage company files a foreclosure complaint at your County Court of Common Pleas. By filing the Complaint, the lender is telling the court that you breached your contract by failing to make your mortgage payments and asks the court to order the house be sold at auction and the proceeds be used to pay off the mortgage. Once the case is filed, the Clerk of Court sends you a copy of the complaint and a summons by certified mail and/or asks a deputy sheriff to deliver the documents to you.
Day 28. WARNING! The first deadline is the most important. If you do not file a response to the Complaint within 28 days of the Complaint being served on you, the court will assume that you agree with everything in the Complaint and the bank will win the case
▪ Your response to the Complaint is called an “Answer”, and it must be filed within 28 days of the date that (1) you receive the Complaint OR (2) the date that the court sends the Complaint by regular mail after you have refused or failed to claim the copy sent by certified mail. Only the judge assigned to your foreclosure case can extend the 28 days. It does not matter if you are negotiating with the bank or applying for a loan modification. Nothing extends
the 28 days except for an order from the judge assigned to the case. If you file a Motion for an Extension of Time to File your Answer and it is granted by the judge, then you must file your Answer by the date stated in the order granting the extension.
▪ If you have any doubt about when the deadline expires, you should contact the Clerk of Court's Office immediately. The address of the court and the phone number of the Clerk of Court is located on the Summons. The Answer deadline is the date that your Answer must actually be filed with the court. It is not sufficient to mail the answer to the court by that date. You must take steps to be sure the answer actually reaches the court before the deadline passes.
▪ If you do not file a timely Answer, your lender may file a Motion with the court for a "Default Judgment." If the court grants the motion, the bank may begin preparing to sell your home at a sheriff’s sale.
Days 29 - 50+. Some banks move more slowly than others in filing a Complaint and a Motion for a Default Judgment. Once the court grants the Default Judgment, the sheriff will appraise your house and the house will be put up for sheriff's sale. Although your home can be sold for less than it is worth at the sheriff’s sale, it cannot be sold for less than 2/3rd of its appraised value.
After a sheriff's sale, the sheriff has up to 60 days to inform the court that the sale took place. Then, the court must confirm the sale within 30 days. The time between the sheriff's sale and the confirmation is called the "redemption period." You have the right to buy back your home during the redemption period. If you choose to do so, you will also have to pay any attorney fees and court costs incurred as a result of the foreclosure.
Execution of Writ of Possession
The final action in the foreclosure case is the execution of the writ of possession. This means that because the new owners of the property have the right to possession, you must leave. You will be given a notice by the sheriff that you must leave your home or be evicted. The amount of time varies by county.
You do not have to face foreclosure alone.
You Are Not Alone
Approximately 4,000 foreclosure actions are filed in Ohio every month. Not all of these cases result in a foreclosure. It is still possible to work out an agreement with your lender or file for bankruptcy to avoid losing your home.
There Is Help Available
When your house goes into to foreclosure, you should consult an attorney if at all possible. If you cannot afford an attorney call 1-866-Law-Ohio or visit OhioLegalServices.org for your closest legal aid office. You can also call Save the Dream Ohio at 1-888-404-4674 to be connected with a housing counselor, who cannot give legal advice but can help explain the foreclosure process.
Don’t Get Scammed
There are a number of fraudsters who are out to take advantage of those facing foreclosure. Don’t fall for them! Beware of companies who:
• offer to buy your property then lease it back to you
• charge high fees for little or no service
• suggest you transfer title to the property to the company.
If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
How Much Time Do I Have?
Foreclosure proceedings can move quickly, and it is important to understand your obligations.