When homeowners can no longer make mortgage payments, foreclosure is a very real possibility. The entire process can take a bit of time to conclude, which provides the homeowners with many opportunities to catch up on missed payments and retain ownership of the property. The Balance explains what you can expect from the foreclosure process and what you can do to stop it. 

While you’ll be notified by your lender immediately after the first missed payment, you won’t be considered in default until you’re three months behind on your mortgage payments. When receiving any notices, be sure to read them carefully so you know just what’s being requested of you. It may be possible to work out a plan with your lender, provided you act quickly enough. You may also be able to take steps to refinance the home, which might make your mortgage payments easier to manage. If you don’t take the proper steps, the lender will move forward with the foreclosure.

Because New Jersey is what’s considered a judicial state, the lender must go through the court system when initiating the foreclosure process. It’s recommended that you work with an attorney in this case, who can inform you of all your legal options before moving forward. Foreclosure takes quite a bit longer in judicial states as compared to nonjudicial states, and the total process can take many months to conclude.

If you’re unable to come to an agreement with the lender, your home will be put up for auction. Homes that aren’t sold at auction are sold by the lender, who will try recoup lost money quickly by selling the home as soon as possible. You’ll be notified as to how long you’re allowed to stay in the home after the sale takes place. If you remain past this date, the formal eviction process will begin.