The basic idea of foreclosure is fairly simple. You agreed to make monthly payments when you got your mortgage loan. If you miss those payments, you breach the contract, and the lender takes the home back through foreclosure. They sell it to get what they can.
But how soon do they do it? Say you accidentally forget to mail a check one month. Are you already at risk of losing your house? You did break the agreement you had with the lender. Are they that strict about it?
Missing three different payments
As a rule of thumb, you’ll likely have to miss three payments in a row before they’ll foreclose on the house. Now, that is not an official rule. They could do it after one missed payment since that does violate the contract. But the odds are strongly against having a lender who would do such a thing.
After all, the lender likely loses money in foreclosure. It takes a while to foreclose. The lender must pay the employees who carry out the necessary tasks, and then they have to take the time to sell the home to someone else.
After one missed payment, it is just not worth it. They would rather contact you and get you to pay. The lenders do not make their money through foreclosure, but through getting consistent payments from borrowers. They will work toward that goal before they will take your house.
But what if foreclosure does start?
If you miss more payments and you do get a foreclosure notice, it can be stressful and frightening. Make sure you know what legal options you have.