Houston, Texas 3 Step Home Foreclosure Process:
Are you wondering what is the Foreclosure Process in Houston TX? Texas keeps the home foreclosure process relatively simple so it actually goes rather quickly. If a homeowner in Houston, Texas defaults on their home loan, they can lose the property in as little as 41 days. And the state of Texas is what is called a “non-right of redemption” state. This means that once the home goes into foreclosure, there’s no chance to reclaim it. For this and other reasons, it’s important to act quickly if you start having problems making timely mortgage payments.
Well, there are three steps in the foreclosure process in Houston, TX which a lender can initiate when a borrower defaults on their mortgage. The lender is required to send a notice to the borrower stating they have 20 days to pay off the entire owed amount needed to bring the loan current. If they fail to do so, the foreclosure begins.
Step 1 – Notice of Default
The borrower is notified that they have 20 days to bring the loan current and out of default. This letter will clearly outline how much is due, and the date by which it must be paid. After the 20 allowed days, there has to be at least 21 days before the foreclosure sale can schedule. The notice of foreclosure has to be posted at the courthouse and the notice filed with the county clerk. The borrower must also be made aware of the date and time of the sale. Texas law dictates that home foreclosure auction can only occur on the first Tuesday of the month and anyone is allowed to bid on the property.
Step 2 – File, Post and Mail the Notice of Sale
At least 21 days before the foreclosure, every lender responsible for the paying the debt gets a notice of sale by way of certified letter. It’s also posted at the county courthouse and filed with the county clerk. The notice of the sale must include the time, date and location where the sale is to occur.
Step 3- Foreclosure Sale
The next step in the home foreclosure timeline is the sale. It is held on the first Tuesday of the month, is conducted at the county courthouse, and must be between 10 AM and 4 PM. It is necessary that the sale occur at the time stated on the notice, but it cannot occur any later than three hours past the time stated on the notice of sale. The property goes to the highest bidder or it can revert to the lender who is foreclosing.
What Happens After the Home Foreclosure Auction?
Sometimes when there is a home foreclosure auction, what is owed is more than the price raised at the sale. The difference between what is owed and what came in is a “deficiency.” One example might be if there was $200,000 owed on the original mortgage, and the home sold for just $170,000 at the foreclosure sale, then the deficiency is $30,000. Different states handle this situation differently, but in Texas, the lender has two years from the foreclosure sale to file a lawsuit to get the deficiency. Texas state laws let the borrower have credit for the fair market value of the home. This means if the deficiency can be adjusted depending on the home’s fair market value.
Evictions After the Foreclosure
Once the house has been foreclosed on and it’s gone through the auction, it will have a new owner. The new owner is going to want to live in the house they just bought. If the former owner is still in the house, the new owner may take the necessary steps to have them evicted. In some cases, they will offer them a “cash for keys” deal. In these instances, the new owner offers the resident money if they agree to move out of the house. For most people, cash for keys is faster and less expensive than trying to work through the eviction process.
If the eviction process begins, the new owner will serve the old owner with a three-day notice to leave the property. If they do not leave, they can file an eviction, which is a lawsuit. Once the court grants the eviction, or forcible detainer, the former owner has 5 days to evacuate the premises. Then the sheriff gives a posted 24-hour warning to vacate. If they have not vacated the premises by this time, the sheriff with forcibly remove the occupants and all of their belongings. It’s best to avoid this type of situation altogether.
How to Stop a Foreclosure in Houston TX?
There are a few viable ways around a foreclosure. Whether or not they are successful will depend on the specific circumstances. When you realize you are falling behind on your payments, or are having a difficult time making them by the monthly due date, you might list your house with a realtor and try to sale it. If it sells quickly, that is ideal. But sometimes a house can set on the market for months without a potential buyer. And sometimes buyers don’t qualify for financing or they back out at the last minute. Either of those can be devastating and won’t help stop a foreclosure.
In some cases, you can file bankruptcy, but timing is everything. Occasionally, you can get a bankruptcy filed and completed before the foreclosure sale occurs. But most of the time, it only prolongs the sale and it ends up costing more money in the long run.
A great option for some Texans:
Another option in Houston, TX is to sell to Lennox Home Buyers. This company will pay the homeowner cash for the house and they work to avoid the home foreclosure process altogether, which would be a win-win for both parties and save your credit and wages from being garnished. The local home buyer will come and assess the house and make an offer. If the homeowner takes the offer, then they proceed to closing. In most cases, it only takes a few days to complete the sale and the homeowner can pay off the loan and avoid the foreclosure.