Foreclosure Timeline

1. If you are a Texas homeowner, then the lender must comply with Section 51.002 of the Texas Property Code. That section requires a lender to send the homeowner a notice of default and opportunity to cure, at least 20 days before sending out foreclosure notices.

2. If your loan is a FHA loan, the lender is also required to attempt to have a face-to-face meeting prior to sending out foreclosure notices, pursuant to the HUD regulations.

3. After the lender has sent the notice of default and opportunity to cure, and if the default has not been cured, then the lender can send a notice of trustee’s sale to the homeowner by certified mail, return receipt requested. This notice has to be sent at least 21 days before the foreclosure date. Foreclosures in Texas must occur on the first Tuesday of the month between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Therefore, you should always sign for and obtain all certified mail, because one of these notices may be included. Under the law, the lender does not have to ensure that you receive the notice, they are only required to send the notice by certified mail. If you receive the this notice, you should contact an attorney without delay. There are two ways to stop a foreclosure in Texas, (1) by suing the lender and asking the court for a restraining order, or (2) file bankruptcy. We rarely advise our clients to declare bankruptcy because it may not remedy the problem and it will damage your credit rating for either 7 years or 10 years depending on the bankruptcy chapter that you file. Its been our experience that our clients are much better served by suing the lenders, if the lenders have violated either federal regulations or state law, which they very often have done.

4. If a lender has sent a notice of trustee’s sale and you do nothing to stop the sale, then the trustee designated by the lender will sell the property on the courthouse steps to the highest bidder on the first Tuesday of the month. If that occurs, the next notice that you probably will receive will be from the purchaser who will send you a notice to vacate. State law requires a minimum 3-day notice to vacate. If you do not vacate, then the purchaser will probably file a forcible detainer lawsuit against you in the Justice of the Peace court which will likely provide only 10-days notice of the hearing.

5. If you receive a forcible detainer lawsuit from the Justice of the Peace court, you should immediately retain an attorney to try to stop the eviction. If you do nothing, then the purchaser will probably obtain a judgment for possession of the property, in which case you will have only have 5 days to appeal. If you do not appeal, then the purchaser will ask the Court to issue a writ of possession for a constable to forcibly to evict you from the property.

6. Obviously, it is better for you if you become pro-active and not allow all of these deadlines to pass and find yourself being evicted from your home. Therefore, you should contact an attorney as soon as you receive a notice of trustee’s sale.

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