Sternberg Law Group


Foreclosure Process In California

28 Nov 2023 | Foreclosure

Have you ever felt like you’re trying to navigate through a dense fog, unsure of what lies ahead? That’s how it can feel when facing the complex and often confusing world of the foreclosure process in California.

You might have heard terms like “judicial foreclosure,” “deficiency judgment,” or even “loan modification.” They sound intimidating, right? But there’s no need for panic. Let me be your beacon in this foggy journey.

In this article, we’ll delve into the specifics of foreclosures – from comprehending how it works to learning your privileges as a homeowner and examining choices that can protect your residence. And if things get too rough, we’ll also explore why having an experienced California foreclosure attorney by your side can make all the difference.

Table of Contents:

Understanding the Foreclosure Process in California

In California, when mortgage payments aren’t made on time, the foreclosure process begins. But before any foreclosure sale can happen, lenders must strictly comply with both state and federal laws regulating mortgage servicing.

What is the Preforeclosure period

The preforeclosure period kicks off once you miss a payment. The lender will send a breach letter to let you know about your loan’s default status. If not fixed within 30 business days, they may initiate either judicial or nonjudicial foreclosures.

Most lenders opt for nonjudicial foreclosure because it’s quicker and less expensive than its judicial counterpart. It does not need a court order but also means fewer legal protections for homeowners.

The Role of Federal Law

Federal law steps in here by mandating that no foreclosure lawsuit or sale file can be lodged until more than 120 days have passed since your first missed payment. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), has clear guidelines about how this process works under federal law to help protect borrowers like you from premature actions taken by overeager loan servicers. This is just one example of how laws heavily regulate loan servicing and foreclosure processes in California to provide special protections for struggling homeowners.

It is important to recognize that homeowners have legal protections available when facing foreclosure. Various laws are in effect to assist people with dealing with this difficult situation.

What is Dual Tracking? – How it protects you the homeowner

Dual tracking is when your lender simultaneously pursues foreclosure while also working with you on loss mitigation. This practice can lead to confusion and unnecessary stress for homeowners. But here’s the good news: dual tracking is not permitted under California law. That means lenders must pause the foreclosure process while they review your application for alternatives like loan modifications or short sales.

If they don’t, they’re violating special protections put into place by laws regulating mortgages in California specifically designed to shield homeowners during tough times.

What is a Deficiency Judgement?

You might be wondering about deficiency judgments as well – another area where California law comes through strong.
In many states, if your home sells at a foreclosure sale for less than what you owe, lenders can sue you for the difference or “deficiency.” However, under most circumstances, deficiency judgments are generally not allowed for residential foreclosures in sunny California. Now that’s something worth celebrating.

When facing a foreclosure in California, you have more options than you might think. It’s not just about getting through the difficult situation; it’s also about investigating potential solutions.

Reinstating the loan, for instance, is an option if you can manage to catch up on your mortgage payments and associated fees. If that seems impossible, seeking help from HUD-approved housing counselors could be your next best move.

Avoiding foreclosure through a loan modification, which involves changing the terms of your original promissory note to make payments more manageable, is another possibility. But remember, this route needs lender approval.

If things are looking particularly grim and other alternatives seem unattainable or ineffective, filing bankruptcy may be worth considering. This step could halt foreclosure altogether while giving you some breathing room to figure out your next steps. Filing bankruptcy doesn’t mean giving up; rather it’s akin to hitting pause on life’s DVR when everything becomes too overwhelming.

You’re not alone in this battle against foreclosure. With the right information at hand and proper legal guidance – there are multiple ways around navigating these choppy waters safely.

The Role of a Foreclosure Attorney in California

Dealing with foreclosure can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to go through it alone; enlisting the help of a California-based foreclosure attorney can make the process more manageable.

Selecting a Reputable Foreclosure Attorney

An experienced attorney understands both judicial and nonjudicial foreclosures, offering valuable guidance during this tough time. They’re well-versed with how foreclosures work in California and provide effective strategies for navigating through the process.
A good lawyer will help decipher complex legal jargon found on notices or breach letters from lenders. Their expertise can offer peace of mind as they explain your contractual rights and obligations under federal law.

To find a reputable foreclosure attorney, consider their experience dealing specifically with real estate laws and their track record handling similar cases. Personal referrals or reviews online are also great ways to gauge an attorney’s reputation. HUD-approved housing counselors can also give recommendations for trustworthy attorneys specializing in this field.

Hiring a reliable California foreclosure attorney, therefore, is beneficial because they understand all facets of the state’s unique procedures related to home loan servicing rules that may affect you as a homeowner facing potential property loss due to unpaid mortgage payments.

Resources for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

If you’re a homeowner in California facing foreclosure, don’t despair. Don’t worry; there are a variety of resources to help you manage foreclosure in California.

Utilizing Government Programs

The federal government has designed programs specifically aimed at preventing foreclosures. For example, the Making Home Affordable Program can offer options like loan modifications or refinancing which could make your mortgage payments more manageable.

A toll-free telephone number is provided by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), where homeowners can get advice and assistance on foreclosure prevention in Los Angeles, California. This resource offers invaluable support during such challenging times.

Besides federal aid, local counseling services exist for CA homeowners dealing with foreclosure issues. These agencies provide expert guidance on how to avoid losing your home and will explain potential strategies tailored to your unique circumstances.

You might also want to explore certain state-specific programs that aim at avoiding foreclosures – California’s Keep Your Home program being one of them. They offer principal reduction, unemployment mortgage assistance among other benefits which may prove useful if used timely.

Frequently Asked Questions – California Foreclosure Process, California Foreclosure Attorney

1. How does the foreclosure process work in California?

In California, most foreclosures are nonjudicial. After missed payments, a notice of default is sent out. If unresolved, it leads to a notice of sale and then an auction.

2. What is the new foreclosure law for California?

The Homeowner Bill of Rights in California provides protections against unfair practices by lenders during the foreclosure process.

3. How long do you have to move out after foreclosure in California?

In California, post-foreclosure eviction takes about 30 days. However, specifics can depend on your situation or any existing lease agreements.

If owners neglect maintenance on their foreclosed properties in California, they may face fines or other penalties from local government bodies.


Understanding the foreclosure process in California is like clearing away fog. You’ve learned about preforeclosure, judicial and nonjudicial foreclosures.
Navigating your rights as a homeowner means grasping laws against dual tracking and deficiency judgments. It’s knowing you have legal protections.

Exploring options during foreclosure can feel daunting but remember: loan modification, reinstatement, even filing for bankruptcy are all possible paths.

Never underestimate the value of expert help when it comes to the foreclosure process in California. A good lawyer can guide you through this maze with less stress.

Facing foreclosure isn’t easy; it’s a journey filled with challenges. But now that you’re armed with knowledge and resources – government programs or counseling services – those challenges seem less intimidating, don’t they?

You’re ready to face them head-on!