A court can order the foreclosure sale of your home if you have a mortgage and breach your loan conditions, if you fail to pay local government taxes, or in some states, in the event of bankruptcy. For most, however, the problem occurs when circumstances prevent monthly mortgage payments.
In Georgia, there are two types of foreclosure proceedings.
- The first, a court foreclosure, occurs when the title, the mortgage documentation, or a trust deed lacks a condition allowing an out-of-court proceeding. The process starts when your lender files a petition describing your situation, your property and the outstanding amount owed. You will receive a written notice which gives you 30 days to pay the default amount to the court. If you fail to do this, a foreclosure sale is scheduled.
- In Georgia, however, the out-of-court method is more common, because most trust deeds and mortgages incorporate a clause that allows your lender to execute a foreclosure sale in the event of default without a court order.
Your lender starts the process by simply scheduling a foreclosure sale for your property. The lender doesn’t even need to warn you of his intention to sell your property. That’s why it’s so important, if you are more than one or two payments behind, to contact us immediately.
In fact, if you are behind in your mortgage payments, paying the outstanding amount does not automatically guarantee that the foreclosure process will be stopped.
Avoiding Foreclosure in Georgia
Once your lender has determined to sell your property, they must publish a notice of sale once a week for four weeks prior to the auction. The lender also has an obligation under the Georgia foreclosure statutes to send you a notice 15 days before the sale informing you of the lender’s and borrower’s names, the time of the sale, the location of the sale, the basis for the sale, and a description of the property.
The venue for foreclosure sales in Georgia is the county courthouse between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month. If the sale price at the auction reaches at least the market value of the property, the court will confirm the transaction. If it fails to reach the market value, the court can order a new auction.
Immediately following the sale, the winning bidder must pay the full amount outstanding, unless it is the lender, who can also bid at the auction. If for any reason the sale is cancelled, the 30-day process must begin again. In Georgia, following a foreclosure sale, you have no recourse to regain your property.