People (including lawyers) are sometimes not sure if exactly they are in foreclosure. This is because it isn’t uncommon for people to fall behind on their mortgage payments from time to time – even the best-meaning people and people that otherwise appear to have high-paying jobs. So, how do you really know whether you are in foreclosure? From a legal standpoint, there are three phases:
Default (Pre-Foreclosure) Phase
Here, you only receive notices from the lender or servicer. The servicer is whoever is collecting the payments for the mortgage company. Sometimes, this is the mortgage company itself. There will be several collection notices, and then a Notice of Default. The time period for getting to the next phase, varies by lender. Some lenders will send a file into foreclosure status within 3-4 missed payments. Some will wait longer.
At this point, the homeowner will receive a Notice of Acceleration and later on, a Notice of Foreclosure Sale. Sometimes, these two notices are combined. The notices will be certified mailed and also sent by regular mail. Not signing for or accepting the certified mail does nothing to stop the foreclosure. The Notice of Foreclosure Sale is sometimes called the Notice of Trustee Sale or just Notice of Sale. However, it is distinct in that there will be a date in the document, and a time, which shows when the foreclosure sale will take place. The sale will be scheduled out at least 21 days from the date of notice.
This is the period following the date stated in the Notice of Foreclosure Sale. and after the real estate has been sold at foreclosure auction. In Texas, the foreclosure sales happen every first Tuesday of the month, like clockwork, come rain or shine and regardless of whether there is a holiday. Early intervention is best so as to avoid foreclosure altogether. Be proactive!