Foreclosure can be a complicated and stressful process involving a lot of paperwork, some of which may be difficult to understand. Michigan residents who have fallen behind in their mortgage may be tempted to avoid or ignore any paperwork that is received due to worry or anxiety over losing their home.
While that anxiety is certainly understandable, each piece of foreclosure paperwork received should be read and carefully analyzed. There are laws that mortgage companies who are trying to foreclose must follow, particularly when it comes to giving a homeowner notice of the foreclosure.
Even one missed notice or deadline, or one rule that is not precisely followed by the mortgagor can unravel the entire foreclosure process. That is why it is important to have a basic idea about what type of notice is required.
One of the documents to look for is a letter from your mortgagor saying they intend to begin the foreclosure process on your home. They may send you additional documents explaining options that are available to you, such as loan modification, refinancing or filing for bankruptcy, but if they intend to foreclose, they must tell you in writing.
Publishing of the Sheriff’s sale
Most foreclosures in Michigan are done through a Sheriff’s sale, which is an auctioning of your home to the highest bidder. After giving you notice of their intention to foreclose on your home, Michigan foreclosure law then requires the mortgagor to publish a notice of the foreclosure through the Sheriff’s sale in a local newspaper.
This notice must be published for at least four weeks. Once this notice requirement is met, the Sheriff’s sale can be held. The sale will be scheduled for a specific day and time. If your home is sold at the sale, you will have a period, called the redemption period, after the sale, to continue to explore options to save your home.
The four-week period leading up to the sale, and the redemption period, are meant to offer you some breathing room to continue exploring alternatives to foreclosure.
If the mortgagor has not provided you with a notice of intent to foreclose or has not published notice of the Sheriff’s sale in the newspaper for the required 4-week period, the foreclosure process could potentially be undone. The mortgagor would be required to start over.
People who have lost a home know it is one of the most devastating experiences to go through. Having the help of a trusted legal advisor who can ensure the mortgagor is complying with their legal duties can sometimes mean the difference between losing and keeping a home.