The Oklahoma Foreclosure Process
Foreclosure is a painful measure of last resort that Oklahoma homeowners face when financial hardship gives them no other choice but to default on their mortgage loan. Although it’s a position no one wants to be in, sometimes it is inevitable. The best thing you can do is educate yourself about the process.
Here is what Oklahoma residents need to know about foreclosure in their state and what they can do to avoid losing their home.
Timeline to Oklahoma Foreclosure
If you find yourself missing payments on your mortgage loan, foreclosure may be in your future. The best piece of advice to avoid foreclosure is to act fast. Their are various deadlines through out the process so timing is everything. Even missing just one deadline can fast forward your foreclosure.
Federal law requires a lender to wait until the property owner is 120 days delinquent on their mortgage loan payments before they can initiate the foreclosure process. During this period, homeowners can submit an application for loss mitigation, ask for a loan modification, or other remedies to help them make the payments.
Once the 120 days pass, and if the homeowner fails to comply, the foreclosure can begin. Oklahoma residents can still stall the process by submitting a loss mitigation application up to 37 days before the date of a foreclosure sale. The court must then review that document before moving forward.
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The Oklahoma Foreclosure Procedure in a Nutshell
Oklahoma has both judicial and nonjudicial foreclosures. A judicial foreclosure goes through the local court system, and a judge must order that the lender can go forward with the foreclosure sale. Nonjudicial foreclosures allow the lender to sell the property without seeking the court’s permission. If your mortgage contract has a power of sale clause, that document permits the servicer to use a nonjudicial process. However, Oklahoma laws allows homeowners to force the lender into a judicial foreclosure.
The lender files a lawsuit in county court and serves the homeowner a summons to appear. Borrowers typically have 20 days to respond to the summons. If they do not, or if the judge deems their response insufficient, the judge will grant a summary judgment allowing the lender to foreclose on the property.
Notice of Sale
The lender has to notify the borrower in writing at least 10 days prior to the foreclosure sale. They must also publish this notice of sale in a newspaper for two consecutive weeks. Although reinstatement is not official, most lenders will allow the homeowner to reinstate during the foreclosure period if they make all the deficient payments, including outstanding fees and late charges, and resume their regular mortgage payment schedule.
Vacate the Property
Once the house is sold at auction, homeowners must vacate the property or face eviction proceedings. If the home is rented, the tenant is protected by the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009. If there i snot documented lease, the tenant has 90 days to relocate.
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Oklahoma Foreclosure Facts
If your mortgage contract has a power of sale clause, that document permits the servicer to use a nonjudicial process. However, Oklahoma laws allows homeowners to force the lender into a judicial foreclosure.
In both types of foreclosure, the lender may seek a deficiency judgment against the borrower if they file within 90 days of the foreclosure sale.
Oklahoma state law allows the homeowner the right to redeem the property up to the completion of the foreclosure sale.
In a judicial foreclosure, the state of Oklahoma allows you to redeem a home by paying the loan balance, plus costs, up until the time the court confirms the foreclosure sale.
If the foreclosed homeowners refuse to vacate after the foreclosure sale is legally confirmed, the court may issue of a writ of assistance to the sheriff’s office, ordering the purchaser to take possession.
In a nonjudicial foreclosure, the notice of sale can go forward if there is no resolution within 35 days.
Alternatives to Foreclosure in Oklahoma
Oklahoma homeowners can leverage a short sale to avoid foreclosure. A short sale occurs when you negotiate with the lender to sell a property for less than what you still own on the loan because the fair market value is less than the amount owed. It is important to note that you still may be held responsible for paying the difference if the lender files a deficiency.
Filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is yet another way to immediately put a stop to foreclosure proceedings. Provided that the borrower qualifies for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, they may be able to keep their home. You can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy up to the day before the confirmation of the foreclosure sale.
If done within the correct time frame, you can take advantage of state and federal loan modification programs . Typically, this will result in temporarily reduced mortgage payments, giving you an opportunity to get caught up on your debts and finances.
Selling your house as is is a reasonable option for homeowners who want to take action quickly. Because you don’t have to complete the traditional tasks of repairs and updates to your property, you can sell fast and move on with your debt free life.
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