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The California Foreclosure Process Explained

Maybe it’s the huge population in California, or perhaps it’s just the inflated price of our real estate, but one of the most asked questions in the United States for real estate investors these days is: “What is the California foreclosure process?”

The foreclosure process in California greatly depends on it being a Judicial forclosure (meaning a judge has to declare the foreclosure and evict the tenants) or a “power of sale,” (Non-Judicial) foreclosure.

The non-judicial type is the far more common type of California foreclosure process, and it occurs every time a lender has the forethought to include the ‘power of sale’ clause in the deed of trust to the owner.

The power of sale clause simply says that the lender has the right to evict the owner and sell the house when the house is in default and a long list of conditions are met.

Those conditions define the rest of the California real estate foreclosure process. A lender can’t just make them up each time it writes a deed, these conditions and the incurring timeline have to be approved by the state in advance:

Notice of Default: (NOD) A Notice of Default must by mailed to the borrower as soon as the lender desires to officially place the borrower in “Default” status.

The NOD usually occurs on the 90th day of missed payments, but varies by lender.

Notice of Sale: (NOS) A notice of sales must be posted. It must be recorded in the county courthouse where the property is located at least 14 days before the auction sale.

It must also be mailed by certified mail with a return receipt requested to the borrower at least 20 days before the sale, and then posted on the property itself at least 20 days before the sale.

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