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What is the general timeframe for the foreclosure process?

When lenders in Tennessee issue mortgages, their businesses depend on homeowners making payments on time and in full. So, if mortgage payments are missed, this can result in a difficult situation for the lender. Eventually, if a homeowner fails to pay their mortgage, their house will be foreclosed upon. The following is a brief overview of foreclosure process.

Usually, homeowners must make their monthly mortgage payments by the first day of the month. If a homeowner does not do this, they will be considered delinquent. If, by the sixteenth day of the month, the homeowner still hasn't made their monthly mortgage payment, a late fee will be charged. Up until the 30th of the month, if the mortgage still hasn't been paid, the lender will make attempts to contact the homeowner to ascertain why the homeowner is not paying their mortgage.

Between 45 to 60 days after a missed mortgage payment, the lender will send the homeowner a "demand" or "breach" notice in writing. In this notice, the lender will stipulate which provisions of the mortgage the homeowner is violating.

If the mortgage still hasn't been paid by day 90, from day 90 to day 105 the lender will send the mortgage to the foreclosure department. The lender will also hire a lawyer to commence the foreclosure proceedings. While foreclosure requirements vary by state, the lawyer may have to record notice of foreclosure with the court or publish it in an area newspaper. There may be hearings on the issue, and certain documents may need to be executed and filed with the court.

If, by days 150 to 415 the mortgage still has not been paid in full, including interest, late fees and attorney fees, the home will be sold at a foreclosure auction to the highest bidder, normally the lender. Tennessee is considered a non-judicial state, so the time range is limited to two months. Once the home has been sold through foreclosure, the homeowner will be evicted.

Banks as lenders rely on homeowners to uphold their end of the contract, which is the mortgage. Like any business dealing, if a contract is breached there are legal consequences. Lenders who need more information on foreclosure in Tennessee may want to contact an attorney.

Source: Tennessee Housing Development Agency, "Stages of Foreclosure," accessed March 26, 2018

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