My house is in Foreclosure! What happens next?

So, the time has now come for me to swallow my pride, and use my own misfortune to help many of you out there.

On August 18th, my home is going back to the bank; because on that day, a small group of people will be gathered on the courthouse steps at the Riverside County courthouse, be given the opportunity to buy my house for $483,000 ... and there will be no takers. Why? Because 2 weeks ago a house just like mine sold for $284,000.

Being an REO LISTING AGENT (fortunately), a LEASING AGENT (fortunately), and CURRENTLY LOSING MY OWN HOME (unfortunately), makes me kind of an expert in this area. And, oh... the stories I've heard! Many of which just blow me away, and I am amazed at how many real estate agents, attorneys and friends, trying to be helpful, are misinforming WAY too many of you.

So with my newly acquired expertise, I hope to offer understanding, some insight, and more importantly, solid information, to those of you going through the foreclosure process.

As local Leasing Agents, my team receives several calls a week from people looking for rentals because they are losing their homes to foreclosure, or, they are renting a house that is in foreclosure. Many times they are in major PANIC mode as they don't know how much time is left before the bank takes their home. Fortunately, as Real Estate Agents, we are able to look up tax records to verify Notice of Default and Trustee's Sale dates. Knowing these dates will help you to know when you should start looking for a Rental Home.

The following will help you understand the foreclosure timeline a little better.

California Foreclosure Timeline

After 1-3 missed payments
Lender considers property to be in Default

Day 1
Record Notice of Default

Within 10 Days
Notice of Default Mailed to Trustor (Borrower) and Special Requests for Notice

Within 1 Month
Notice of Default mailed to parties pursuant to California Civil Code 2924(c)

After 90 Days
End of 90 Days redemption period. Trustee’s sale date can be set.

25 Days Prior to Sale Date
Notice to the IRS must be given if required

At Least 20 Days Prior to Sale Date
Publish Notice of Sale, Post Notice of Sale on Door of House, Mail Notice of Sale to Owners

Within 10 Days From First Publication of Notice of Sale
Send beneficiary request for property directions.

14 Days Prior to Sale
Record Notice of Trustee’s Sale

5 Business Days Before Sale Date
Right to reinstate expires

Sale Date
Property Sold to highest bidder (or if no bids, goes back to Lender)

AND THEN... it is my personal experience that:

2-10+ Days after Sale Date
The Lender REO Listing Agent sends letter, or, comes knocking on door, to negotiate CASH FOR KEYS or RELOCATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM. They will usually offer between $500 to $2500 and will require you to set a Move-out date to occur within 2-3 weeks. (Note: Some Lenders will also require you to show PROOF that all utilities have been paid up-to-date on Move-out date.)

NOTE: If you do not accept the Cash For Keys negotiation, or, if you ignore the REO Agent and the letters from the Lender's eviction attorney, EVICTION PROCEEDINGS WILL BE STARTED. You DO NOT want this to happen as this will GREATLY HAMPER your ability to RENT A HOUSE.

Move-out Date
Lender's Agent inspects property, verifies no appliances are missing, and that property has been left in broom-swept condition (including garage and yard). Owners give keys to Agent, Agent gives bank Check to Owners.

In simpler terms:

90 days* missed payments + 90 days redemption period + 21 days until Trustee's Sale + 7 days until REO Agent contact + 14 days to Move-out = 7.5 months approximately.


1. Save as much money as you can during these months of non-payment because you may be required to pay and ADDITIONAL deposit on a rental home. (First month + deposit equal to one month's rent + pet deposit (if applicable) + ADDITIONAL deposit equal to one month's rent = your move-in costs)

Do not count on the Cash for Keys to be part of your move-in costs, as if you do receive this, it will not be until AFTER you are fully moved out of your house.

Visit local websites and review Pennysaver ads to get a general idea of the rental homes and prices in our area. Start actively looking for a rental as soon as you get the Notice of Trustee Sale date.

Try to keep the rest of your credit under control. Most property management companies and landlords accept the current foreclosure situation of potential renters.

Start saving your paycheck stubs as landlords want to see documented income - usually at 3 times the amount of the rent.

Keep your bank account under control. Many times Landlords want to see your last two month's of bank statements.

SAVE SAVE SAVE... no one will understand a family coming out of foreclosure, having paid no house payment for over 6 months, not having enough funds to move into a new house. Once you find a rental, you need to be ready to give a full month's rent as a deposit for it to be held for you until move-in.

I hope this information helps many of you. Please feel free to call me anytime if you have more questions. I am always happy to be of help.

I know how sad it is to have to walk away from your home. I truly am so sorry for those of you going through this, the same as me. After being a homeowner for over 18 years, having dropped $80,000 on the home of my dreams 4 years ago, and now watching my American Dream go "POOF" right before my eyes... this is a pain I don't wish on anyone.

BUT... we must remember... this too shall pass. It is what it is, so get up, dust yourself off and get on with getting on.

There is tomorrow, and the hope that it brings, that we will again, one day, achieve that "American Dream".

DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney, nor do I give legal advice. The above information is based on information from outside sources and my own personal experience. All Lenders move at different paces, individual time frames will vary. This simple time frame above is what I see to be the norm here in our area.

*The California Foreclosure timeline is applicable for California Non-Judicial Foreclosures under Deed of Trust. Foreclosures begin with the Trustor (borrower) not making the monthly payment to the Beneficiary (Lender). The first missed payment is technical default, but in practical terms, most Beneficiaries do not begin the process until the third payment is missed. If the Beneficiary cannot resolve the defaulted payment amount with the Trustor through Forbearance or other Loss Mitigation measures, the Beneficiary will instruct the Trustee to begin Foreclosure proceedings. Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, or investment advice. Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, please note that individual situations can vary, therefore, please consult a professional for specific advice.


  1. Geez. I guess you really ARE a REO Specialist....Not one I'd use as you can't even keep your own house, but you know what I mean.

  2. I'm so sorry this is happening to you (unlike the first person's rude comment). My daugther is going through the same thing (due to a divorce) and this info will be great for her to know.

    I'm preparing to put my Condo in Riverside up for rent. Maybe I can help someone in the same situation. Sincerely, Shirley Lilly, now in Menifee.

  3. Thanks for the wonderful advise and honesty of your own personal situation. Your words were very encouraging. I wish you the best. I'm sorry that the first person who wrote a comment is so ignorant. They have not yet been humbled in their own life to have a since of compassion... thats to bad. I'm a strong believer in Karma.

  4. I'm not ignorant! I just don't treat my home like a bank! And I didn't do some stupid loan! Quit acting like these people are "victims".

  5. Someone on my street had the transfer of title from owner to lender occur in January and they're still there. I'm thinking it has to do with the fact their lender was New Century, which went bankrupt. Anyone know how long before they're gone or when I might be able to put in an offer?

  6. As a REALTOR and "colleague", I find your comments about how we are all misinforming the public an attack on all of us based on your personal situation rather than you being an "educated well informed real estate agent".

    I agree with the first posting, I would never use a REALTOR based on their experience of losing their home who publically admits it to get the sympathies of those in similar situations. I would want to put my trust with an agent who knows "from experience" how to keep from losing a home by not putting me in over my head and knowing that my loan is not going to bite me 2 - 3 years from now.

    If you are such an expert selling REO homes (as you claim), which is the majority of recent sales, you should be making a killing in commissions, and then maybe you could have contacted an expert (unlike yourself) to complete a loan modification with an attempt to saving your home rather than giving it back to the bank. huh? makes you think....

  7. Yeah that first comment speaks for itself, anything can happen at anytime, to anyone. maybe your time has come to feel the wrath of life and what could happen to you in a word will sum up the first comment..


  8. This may be a little off subject but, does anyone have a copy of Menifee Ranch accociation rules?
    please forward to.

    Thank You.

  9. As a REALTOR and "colleague", I find your comments about how we are all misinforming the public an attack on all of us based on your personal situation rather than you being an "educated well informed real estate agent".

    I agree with the first posting, I would never use a REALTOR based on their experience of losing their home who publically admits it to get the sympathies of those in similar situations. I would want to put my trust with an agent who knows "from experience" how to keep from losing a home by not putting me in over my head and knowing that my loan is not going to bite me 2 - 3 years from now.

    If you are such an expert selling REO homes (as you claim), which is the majority of recent sales, you should be making a killing in commissions, and then maybe you could have contacted an expert (unlike yourself) to complete a loan modification with an attempt to saving your home rather than giving it back to the bank. huh? makes you think....

  10. Sorry but i just purchased a new home here in Menifee. the only bad experience we had was the realtor. dont try to put yourself up on a cloud..if your looking for a property go for the bank owned , that way the scum bags commission wont be added to your price the bank has to pay them. its easier to tolerate these clowns that way. the one i used made a few phone calls and e mails me doc's. 3 day earnings $ 8000.00 dollars what a joke.

  11. Wow. I am amazed that you anonymous people can just blindly judge everyone losing their homes, thinking that everyone in this situation used their home as a bank.

    There has been sickness, divorce, and death... not to mention the countless numbers of people who have lost their jobs or have had their income drastically reduced due to this housing crisis. And yes, some of them are victims. I talk to people EVERY DAY about this, and there are many different circumstances, and there is much pain. You think these people are all yippy skippy jumpin up and down, so happy to be walking away from their homes?

    You have absolutely no clue.

    To the anonymous Realtor and "colleague", I made no such attack on all Realtors. There are many fabulous Realtors here in Menifee. But there IS a lot of misinformation going around, and if you haven't heard any of it, you have no clue either.

    You are obviously not in touch with what's going on in the market right now.

    I have talked with dozens of people in the last 6 months who have attempted loan modifications, and not one, received a viable loan modification. Hey, but if you know any loan modification experts, then by all means, share that information here on this forum, because there are some people it could really help.

    If you are an active Realtor in Menifee, feel free to ask your other "colleagues" about me personally. Any person or agent who knows me knows I am not a person who goes around looking "to get sympathies".

    1. I did attempt a loan modification, to no avail.
    2. I tried to negotiate a short sale with my bank, to no avail.
    3. I never said I was an expert selling REO homes. I wrote that I'm "kind of an expert in this area"... with regards to the foreclosure process.

    I need not defend myself further on this subject. My sole purpose in writing this article was to help others. Talk your talk...judge all you want... you don't know what's in my heart.

  12. the lack of loan modifications may be due to writing bogus loans on homes that were only worth 225.000 realtors made tons of money selling these homes, now there getting paid again selling the repo's. no need to defend yourself we know your kind..

  13. I believe all the "realtors" out there were in it for the free breakfast. I saw the banners offering up the all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast. And you get a license too. Very tempting!

  14. for those of you in this situation (and we may very well be next year) you can learn A LOT from The forums are great and are filled with people across the country in your same shoes, many that have been able to get loan mods.

    From what I've learned there, CA is one of the few states that the lender will not come after you for the loan difference once you foreclose. And currently the law says until 2009 the IRS will not tax the difference from what you owe minus what the bank gets for the place. After 2009, the IRS considers it taxable income.

    (So the 185K diff between what we owe and the market value would be considered income in 2010....ouch....)

    you can see why it is tempting to leave your house in CA.

    we walked into this loan planning to refi in 1 year, after DH got a planned raise. He got more of a raise than we anticipated, but the market had crashed so no refi was possible. The loan keeps going up, the value keeps going down.

  15. I think this is a superb article. I am a Real Estate Broker, employ agents, and am an expert in the local areas.

    I see nothing in this article but great information for so many readers. I am actually disgusted by several of the posts.

    For comments from other realtors, life happens and while I have not lost my house or anything like that, I know MANY people (realtors included) that have. To me that doesn't diminish thier skillset, but simply adds to it since they now know an additional process. In fact, it will make them a better realtor.

    For the people that mention scum bag commissions or easy money, your REALLY don't know real estate at all. Every now and then we get an easier opportunity but I would love to see some people deal with the day-to-day challenges of our career. The person that posted earlier, if that is your attitude, I can see why your realtor didn't want much contact.

    To the author, I don't know you but I really like the post. It is informative for so many people and I am sorry to hear you are losing your home.

    I think it is fantastic that you posted that information so people can get a sense of timeline and understanding of the foreclosure process. With your permission, I would like to edit and utilize it on my website because many people could use that information.

    Thanks again for the post!


    Stefan West
    Broker, Diversified Realty

  16. As a fellow Realtor and local Menifee resident, I really loved the authors post. I found it very informative. I'm not an REO listing agent, but like understanding the process. It helps me better communicate with my clients. As they say Knowledge is Power. Thanks for being 'real.' Your vulnerability just shows that we are all human and 'stuff happens.' We can all learn from this. Even the
    'know it all' Realtors out there. Shame on you.

    Best of luck to you!

  17. Thank you very much for the information. I too am losing my house to foreclosure and it is like an illness, you have good days and you have bad days. Not to say that an illness is the same just to say that it is a tough thing losing your home. Owning a home is the American dream. I worked very hard to keep up on the payments these past few years and have now thrown in the towel because it is effecting my life, my kids lives and my health. I too am a real estate agent. The final blow came for me when a transaction failed to close at the last minute due to my client losing their job. You see I did not direclty lose my job, however my client losing theirs affected my ability to pay my mortgage. We agents know how hard we work and how often we can be used. I have given up so many events because a potential buyer called wanting to see homes that never ended up buying one. Agents know there is risk in dropping everything to show homes but we take it, why, so we can pay our bills. I take great pride in my work however the people who feel our time has no value really make me rethink my career choice. Losing your home is so difficult, wondering if you are just becoming part of the problem and the guilt that comes along with that is huge. We now have gang problems in the area surrounding my home, the neighborhood has just gone down hill, my homes value has dropped more the 50% in the past few years so selling in not an option and probably will not be for many many years. Again thank you for the article and words of support, it did bring me tears.

  18. My sister rented a house. 3 months later, a few weeks ago, she received a letter from an attorney telling her the house is in foreclosure and the 6 month period is up September 19, 2008. She tired contacting the owner of the house and he refused to contact her back. Then she was told by a person who works for the owner that things were being taken care of don't worry. Then she received a call from a bank giving her a price she could by the house for. Today Sept 25, 2008 men came to her home with locks and paper work telling her she needed to vacate the house. They then told her they will give her 24 hours to leave the house. She went to the police station filed a police report and was told they have to be evicted don't turn over the keys. They are to call the officer and he will come to the house right away.
    What are their rights? They were rented a house under false pretense from the owner who did not disclose the house was actually in foreclosure. This person also has a total of 8 homes in which he is renting and doing the same thing. He is currently not returning phone calls from anyone. This is in Southgate, Micigan.

  19. Dear Derfill,

    I am sorry I know nothing of the foreclosure process in Michigan. Some states utilize the Judicial foreclosure process and some the Non-Judicial foreclosure process. The difference in timeframes is drastic. Have your sister contact someone local to her area to find out what the "norm" is out there.

    Sorry that I cannot be more helpful. My best to her.

  20. Dear Derfill,

    I am sorry I know nothing of the foreclosure process in Michigan. Some states utilize the Judicial foreclosure process and some the Non-Judicial foreclosure process. The difference in timeframes is drastic. Have your sister contact someone local to her area to find out what the "norm" is out there.

    Sorry that I cannot be more helpful. My best to her.

  21. Please turn in your licenses and stop calling yourself a specialist. It's obvious you don't know what you're doing.

    I am so glad to see so many of you getting foreclosed on and credit trashed. You are the scum responsible for creating this mess. You destroyed banks and priced homes out of the reach of prudent and responsible people.

  22. Thanks for the great article. Unless banks are willing to modify loans with principle reductions there is no logical reason to continue to struggle to keep up with inflated payments. In my neighborhood a home sold in 2006 for $390,000 recently sold for $130,000.

  23. I truly appreciate you taking the time to share this valuable information. I too am sorry that you are losing your home. It takes a great person to step outside of themselves and encourage others and to that I say thank you.

    To the "Evil" Anonymous Clown: Their is a God,so you should make your foolish words very few.

  24. I see a lot of "anonymous" commenting. Hmm. Maybe that makes it easier to spew your rhetoric. That way you can throw the biggest stone and tell yourself how much more righteous you are. Fortunately, there are people with better things to do and say. Ever hear "out of the heart, the mouth speaks"?? Who raised you? Does your mother know how you turned out? Does she care? In this life you pass through once and just so you know all you take with you is what is inside. You sound like the 3 12 year old boys at the park today taking pot shots at someone less fortunate. GROW UP. In case you never heard it said and your mother didn't teach you it, "If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all."

  25. I understand that this can be a very difficult time for you and I wish you well in restoring your credit and retaining housing at a different location. I, too, is involved in the real estate market as a Realtor. If you need further assistance, or if you know others who need answers to questions, feel free to email me at and we can do what ever possible to assist you, or others that you know, get out of this situation.

    Keep in mind, once your home goes into default or foreclosure, there are no guarantees that you can be saved or that your credit can be fully restored. But we have agents who specialize in this type of work and are willing to help. If anything, we provide information free of cost.

  26. Does anyone know if, your house goes into foreclosure in 2009, but is not actually foreclosed until 2010, will this mean, that the X homeowner has to pay tax on any money, that is left owed on the sale of the house, and will they no longer be in on the forgiven amout?
    Please email me with your comments at,

  27. some of you people might have jobs, that are still there. Some people lost their jobs, is the reason why they can't keep their homes. Don't run people in the ground, until you walk a mile in their shoes.
    Always remember, A bird never flies so high, that is don't lite one day.

  28. 1-Can you provide a resource for the laws applicable to the state of Florida 2-Are you familiar withthe impact of the new federal renters prtection legislation sighned in to law through the Helping families save their home Act and wether or not if the lease was entered in to post the lis pendens date if the same protections apply. The Act is very specific as to what constittutes a bona fide lease and does not have a definition that requires that the lease be entered in to prior to the lis pendens date

  29. Thanks for the information. I don't understand why the lender would not want to renegotiate the balance/terms with you...they will lose out either least it looks like they tried to help you stay in the house.

  30. These comments make me laugh =D All of the nasty comments are SO obviously narcissistic bankers ROFLOL - Oh and by the way, learn to spell karma LOL!!

  31. The first commenter and the ones who agree with him are pretty heartless and must be pretty lucky.

    Yes, there is such a thing as planning and saving, but there is also such things as extended illness and job loss and being out of work for awhile because of such things. Disability doesn't pay a full wage. Neither does unemployment.

    The writer didn't appear to ask for sympathy so stop bashing her. I appreciate the information very much. Thank you.

  32. Can anyone answer what happens after foreclosure?

    My husband says the bank will garnish our wages to pay for the house we lost if the selling price isn't met and we won't be able to live anywhere. I think he's wrong but I'm not sure.

  33. I am a 30 year old mother of three, married for ten years to a hard working man. It was our dream three years ago to purchase our very first home and so we did. At the time it was 260,000 which was one of the cheapest you could find. Our home today is worth 140,000. We have tried for over a year to get it modified and we have been unsuccesful. We are close to losing it. I have great sympathy for anyone in my situation and unless you've been through something like this it is probably easy to judge or have lack of compassion for people like us. We are good hardworking citizens who chose the worst possible time to purchase our home. NOBODY saw this coming! (the housing market) but my advice to you is to try and not be so judgemental because you will only hurt yourself in the end.... Good luck and try and stay positive in life!

  34. I have a question, What happens if we received the notice of sale date on our door yesterday but on the exact same day the bank agreed to modify our loan. Does the sale date still happen? thanks

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  36. Thank you for the information, I respect you very much for sharing and thank you as this is happenining to us.

  37. Thanks for the post... Our sale date is tomorrow and we haven't found a place to live yet. our family has experienced job losses, a new baby, a death, and cancer just in the last year! I'm glad to know I still have another week or so to straighten everything out. God bless you!!

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