A property goes into Foreclosure after the mortgage is unpaid for a period of time. The whole process could take months. Most foreclosures are nonjudicial which means that they are done by a private party (auction) rather than a court hearing. The Foreclosure process and the timelines are somewhat complex but there is usually some time between events allowing the taking of appropriate action. Timelines may be altered by postponed sales.
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CALIFORNIA FORECLOSURE TIMELINE
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Real estate Blog - Understanding Foreclosure
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Information for Tenants
Information for Owners
After the property (residential or commercial) is lost through a Foreclosure (i.e. Trustee Sale), the next step will most likely be an eviction.
Post Foreclosure Eviction
The new owner could be the lender (bank) or a new homeowner or an investor. In any event, if they did not offer to sell or otherwise transfer the property to you in some sort of sale or transaction, they will most likely want to evict you with a post foreclosure eviction action. If you are a tenant renting a residential dwelling foreclosed out from under you, you are entitled to a 60 day notice or, if you qualify under a new Federal Law, 90 days to move. If you are leasing a commercial space, you are entitled to a 30 day notice to vacate the property. If you are the former owner of the property (residential or commercial) the new owner (or lender) will serve you a 3 day notice to move out. The notice must be served correctly and it must contain language required by law. In both cases, when the notice expires, and if you have not vacated the property, they can commence an Unlawful Detainer (eviction) action. If you are a tenant with a lease, your rights to remain at the property under that lease or agreement may be protected even after the foreclosure. See information for tenants.
Generally, commercial leases (long term) may survive a foreclosure. They would have had to have been in existence prior to the creation of the trust deed that was foreclosed on and the lender had to have had actual or constructive notice of that lease.
Even though you may be facing an eviction, you do have rights which must be protected
You should act promptly to protect your rights, especially in these situations where your rights are limited. You may have only 5 days to respond! If you find Unlawful Detainer papers at the property, even if you were not "served", seek assistance right away to get advice and respond with your own papers. You may wish to respond and protect your rights even if you were not named in those papers. If you do not respond quickly and correctly, you can be evicted by the Sheriff very soon. With specialized legal assistance, you can go through this eviction proceeding without having a judgment on your record. You may also be able to gain some more time in the home without paying any rent. Seek legal advice to be sure this is handled correctly. Protect your rights and credit!!
Make a deal to move for money?
Sometimes, the new owner will offer you money to move out and avoid an eviction. This is commonly referred to as "cash for keys." This may be a positive move since it gets you some moving money and avoids an eviction. Be aware that there are brokers or banks who may take advantage of you with these offers and treat you unfairly. Many people say that they cannot take advantage of these offers because the demanded move out time for the cash is just too soon. If you wish to consider such an offer, have it reviewed by an attorney or trusted real estate professional to be sure you get what was promised and that your rights and credit record are protected.
Former owner may make a claim
If you are a former owner and feel you were cheated out of your property, you may have the right to get the property back or at least make a claim for damages including your lost equity. This may be done by the filing of a special lawsuit. An eviction case may allow you more time in the property and reinforce your rights for that special lawsuit and claim. Eviction cases alone cannot decide title or improper trustee sale disputes. Promptly seek experienced legal assistance before taking any action.
We can help!
We at the Tenants Legal Center are proud of our experience assisting with eviction defense providing important information and assistance, by experienced attorneys, for over 15 years. We are recognized by many community groups and government agencies as an important resource for information and assistance in these matters. With our specialized legal services, we can help you gain more time in the property while protecting your rights and credit. For the former owners, this time may be used to try and make arrangements with the new owner to get the property back or file a legal claim if you believe the the sale was done unfairly or improperly. Foreclosure evictions have become very complex with changing State and Federal Laws and tenants should NOT take chances with these matters. If you receive any notices, seek advice right away before it is too late.
Protecting your rights throughout this process should be done by a qualified experienced eviction rights attorney, NOT by any so called Paralegal Service promising paperwork to buy you "more time". These are often non-attorney managed or operated offices taking advantage of unsuspecting people caught up in the foreclosure crisis. They can easily engage in irresponsible delay tactics which leave you unprotected, expose you to liability and claims and end up with a judgment on your record. Unfortunately, you would not discover the harm until it is too late. Some groups of people have taken to direct mail to send tenants and former owners letters selling services claiming unrealistic goals and relying on inaccurate descriptions of the law.
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California law for San Diego is applied in these pages. Such laws may or may not be applicable in other jurisdictions. The information provided herein is of a general nature and is not intended to be taken as specific legal advice. For legal advice in a particular situation, promptly consult with an appropriate attorney.