OVERVIEW | HELP FOR HOMEOWNERS | HELP FOR TENANTS | UNDERSTANDING THE FORECLOSURE PROCESS
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A notice of default is the first step in the foreclosure process. In California, a notice of default can only be filed at least 30 days after contact with the borrower was made for loans originated between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2007 and issued for owner-occupied residences with less than four units. If the borrower was not contacted, a servicer or lender must declare that they tried with due diligence to make contact with the borrower after a missed payment.
The borrower can negotiate with their lender at anytime before or after the date the notice of default is recorded.
If the negotiation is unsuccessful 90 days after the notice of default is recorded, the borrower will receive a notice of trustee sale letter specifying the date and time the trustee sale will take place.
The borrower can reinstate the loan by paying all payments, fees, and other costs or negotiate an agreement with the lender or servicer up to the date of the trustee sale.
After the trustee sale, the borrower may have up to 30 days to remain in the property prior to vacating.
If you are unable to make your monthly mortgage payments, please see the resources at the bottom of this page.
What is a notice of default? It is the first, formal, required letter that starts the foreclosure process when a loan payment has not been paid. It must be recorded at the county recorder’s office and is a public document that must also be sent to the homeowner.
What is a notice of trustee sale? A written document that sets forth the day, date and time of the trustee's sale, describes the property to be sold, and gives an estimate of the amount of unpaid debt. This document must be recorded in the county where the property is located and is a public document.
What is a foreclosure auction? A foreclosure auction is a public event where properties that have a recorded Notice of Default and Notice of Trustee sale are available for purchase.
What is a trustee deed? A deed issued to the buyer of a foreclosure property by the trustee. This could be the bank, the original owner, or a third party.
Additional Foreclosure Terms
Non-judicial foreclosure: It is a foreclosure executed without a legal judgment because the borrower has signed a deed of trust allowing the lender to sell the property to pay off debt. Most of the foreclosures in California are non-judicial.
Deed in lieu of sale: The borrower deeds the property to the lender instead of going through the foreclosure process. This does not automatically absolve the borrower from all underlying debt, which must be addressed in a written agreement with the lender.
Short sale: It is the sale of a property for less than the value of the outstanding loan amount that is sold with the approval of the lender.