< Go Back to the iBuyer Blog

How To Stop Foreclosure in Georgia in Today’s Market

Posted on Share:

how to stop foreclosure in Georgia

You’re a Georgia resident and you’re at risk of a home foreclosure. It’s a stressful and agonizing ordeal.

If you’re looking for guidance on how to stop foreclosure in Georgia, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re filling you in on what you need to know to get you through the process as easily as possible.

Sound interesting? Keep reading!

Discover your home’s worth online for free in minutes!

Understanding Foreclosure in Georgia

In Georgia, non-judicial home foreclosure allows lenders to proceed without court intervention, provided they adhere to specific legal requirements.

The key to non-judicial foreclosure in Georgia is the “power of sale” clause in a mortgage or deed of trust. This clause allows the lender to sell the property to recover the unpaid loan balance if the borrower defaults.

Before proceeding with a foreclosure sale, lenders must fulfill certain requirements, such as providing the borrower with a notice of default and a notice of sale.

These notices must be sent within specific timeframes, and the notice of sale must be advertised in a local newspaper for four consecutive weeks before the sale. The foreclosure sale is then conducted through a public auction, usually at the county courthouse.

A significant aspect is that there is no statutory right of redemption for the borrower post-sale. This means that once the foreclosure sale is completed, the borrower cannot reclaim the property by paying off the debt.

Another important aspect is the deficiency judgment.

In cases where the foreclosure sale does not cover the total mortgage debt, lenders in Georgia may seek a deficiency judgment against the borrower for the remaining amount.

The foreclosure process typically begins after a homeowner misses mortgage payments. Depending on the lender’s policy, this can be after 90-120 days of missed payments. The lender then sends a notice of default to the borrower, indicating the start of the foreclosure process.

After the notice of default, Georgia law requires the lender to send the homeowner a notice of sale. This must be sent at least 30 days before the scheduled foreclosure sale date. The notice of sale includes details about the time, place, and terms of the foreclosure sale.

In Georgia, the law mandates that the foreclosure sale be advertised in the local newspaper for four consecutive weeks before the sale date. This advertisement serves as a public notice of the impending sale of the property.

The foreclosure sale, usually conducted at the county courthouse, takes place on the first Tuesday of the month, as per Georgia law. During this auction, the property is sold to the highest bidder, which can include the lender.

In Georgia, there is no right of redemption for the borrower after the foreclosure sale. This means that once the property is sold, the borrower cannot reclaim it by paying off the debt.

If the sale price is less than the mortgage debt, the lender may seek a deficiency judgment against the borrower for the remaining amount.

If the property is sold to a new owner, the previous homeowner may need to vacate the property. If they do not leave voluntarily, the new owner may initiate an eviction process through the courts.

Early Intervention and Communication

Early intervention opens doors to potential loan modifications, refinancing, or even temporary forbearance plans.

When communicating with lenders, it’s crucial to be open, honest, and prepared. Reach out as soon as financial challenges arise.

Be transparent about the financial difficulties and the reasons behind them. Document all communications with the lender, including dates, names of the representatives spoken to, and the details of the conversation.

HUD-approved housing counseling agencies offer free or low-cost services and provide valuable advice on foreclosure prevention.

They can help homeowners understand their rights and options, assist in communicating effectively with lenders, and even help in arranging alternative repayment plans or loan modifications.

Legal Rights and Foreclosure Prevention Options

It is imperative for homeowners in Georgia to thoroughly understand their mortgage rights, which are detailed in the loan agreement.

In Georgia, foreclosure prevention options can vary based on individual circumstances but generally include loan modification, refinancing, and forbearance.

Loan modification involves altering the original terms of the mortgage to make payments more manageable, while refinancing entails replacing the existing mortgage with a new loan, often at a lower interest rate.

Forbearance, on the other hand, offers temporary relief by reducing or suspending payments for a short period.

Attorneys specializing in real estate or foreclosure law can help interpret the terms of the mortgage, navigate the legal aspects of foreclosure laws in Georgia, and negotiate with lenders on behalf of the homeowner.

Legal professionals are also equipped to identify any violations of federal or state foreclosure laws, which can provide leverage in negotiations or lead to legal remedies.

Financial Management and Prioritization

One of the first strategies in avoiding foreclosure is to prioritize spending. This means focusing on essential expenses such as mortgage payments, utilities, and groceries, while reducing or eliminating non-essential expenditures.

Another key aspect of financial management is exploring ways to increase income or utilize assets. Homeowners might consider taking on additional work, seeking higher-paying employment, or exploring side businesses.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, can temporarily halt foreclosure proceedings through an automatic stay.

However, it may not provide a long-term solution to prevent foreclosure, as it involves liquidating assets to pay off debts.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, on the other hand, is often more effective in preventing foreclosure. It allows the homeowner to reorganize their debts and pay them off over a three to five-year period.

Under Chapter 13, homeowners can include their mortgage arrears in the repayment plan and keep their home as long as they adhere to the terms of the plan.

Loan Modification and Repayment Plans

A loan modification involves altering the original terms of the mortgage to make payments more manageable.

To apply for a loan modification, homeowners should first contact their lender or loan servicer. The application process typically requires submitting financial information, including income, expenses, and proof of financial hardship, along with a formal request for modification.

Alternative Solutions

A short sale is where the homeowner sells the property for less than the outstanding mortgage balance, with the lender’s approval.

The lender will typically require a hardship letter, financial statements, and a buyer’s offer before approving a short sale. Once approved, the home can be sold.

The key implication of a short sale is that the homeowner may still be responsible for the difference between the sale price and the mortgage balance, known as a deficiency balance.

A deed in lieu of foreclosure is where the homeowner voluntarily transfers the property title to the lender in exchange for release from the mortgage obligation.

This option is usually considered when a homeowner is unable to sell the home or modify the loan, and foreclosure seems inevitable.

If accepted, the homeowner surrenders the property, and in return, the lender typically forgives the remaining mortgage balance, preventing a foreclosure from appearing on the homeowner’s credit report.

Selling the home is a straightforward approach to avoid foreclosure. This is particularly viable if the homeowner has equity in the property, meaning the home’s value exceeds the mortgage balance.

By selling the home, the homeowner can pay off the mortgage and potentially have funds remaining.

Avoiding Scams and Predatory Practices

Some offers of foreclosure help come with hidden risks and may not be in the homeowner’s best interest.

For instance, “bailout” schemes where a homeowner is offered a loan to cover mortgage payments might seem appealing, but often come with high-interest rates and fees, leading to further financial strain.

It’s crucial to remain vigilant against foreclosure rescue scams. These scams often target vulnerable homeowners with promises of easy solutions to prevent foreclosure.

Be wary of any individual or company that demands an upfront fee for foreclosure assistance, guarantees to stop the foreclosure process, or instructs homeowners to make mortgage payments directly to them instead of the lender.

Homeowners should also be cautious of any organization that suggests transferring the title of their home as part of a “rescue” deal.

Government and Non-Profit Assistance Programs

HomeSafe Georgia is designed to help homeowners who are unemployed or underemployed through no fault of their own.

This program offers temporary financial assistance to cover mortgage payments while the homeowner seeks reemployment or completes job training.

Non-profits like the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) also offer personalized counseling sessions to assess the homeowner’s financial situation and explore viable foreclosure prevention options.

Learn How to Stop Foreclosure in Georgia

Hopefully, this guide has given you a better understanding of the process.

We went over the basics, gave you some strategies about how to stop foreclosure in Georgia, talked about the assistance of legal help, and much more.

Our site has a ton of great resources, plus you can also enter your home address to get your home value and get a cash offer to sell your house!

Interested in your home’s current market value? Receive a free online home value estimate!

Find out what your home is worth in minutes.
Recent Posts

Lemon Houses Review – Orlando Cash Home Buyer

In the bustling real estate market of Florida, Lemon Houses emerges as ...

April 16th, 2024 in — Cash Home Buyers, Florida, Home Selling, Local Insights, Orlando

The 6 Best Neighborhoods in Denver To Live

Denver's real estate market is a haven for both homebuyers and invest ...

April 16th, 2024 in — Best Neighborhoods, Colorado, Denver, Local Insights

The Current State of The Florida Housing Market – 2024

The Florida housing market is constantly shifting, with new real esta ...

April 15th, 2024 in — Florida, Housing Market, Local Insights

Liberty House Buying Group Review – Pros and Cons

If you're looking to sell your house fast in Florida without the usual ...

April 15th, 2024 in — Cash Home Buyers, Florida, Home Selling, Local Insights, Miami