A foreclosure occurs when a property owner cannot make principal and/or interest payments on his/her loan, typically leading to the property being seized and sold.
The foreclosure process is not very difficult to understand. There are several stages during which the homeowner has an opportunity to bring the loan current and avoid foreclosure.
After about three to six months of missed payments, the lender orders a trustee to record a Notice of Default (NOD). At the County Recorder’s Office. This puts the borrower on notice that he or she is facing foreclosure and starts a reinstatement period that typically runs until five days before the home is auctioned off.
If the default isn’t corrected (the loan must be brought current) within three months, a foreclosure sale date is established. The homeowner will receive a Notice of Sale, and this notice will also be posted on the property. In addition, the Notice of Sale is recorded at the County Recorder’s Office in the county where the property is located. Finally, this Notice of Sale is also published in newspapers local to the county in question over a three-week period.
The foreclosure Trustee Sale typically occurs on the steps of the county courthouse in which the property is located. The time and location of this sale are designated in the Notice of Sale. At the Trustee Sale, the property is auctioned in public to the highest bidder, who must pay the high bid price in cash, typically with a deposit up front and the remainder within 24 hours. The winner of the auction will then receive the trustee’s deed to the property.
At auction, an opening bid on the property is set by the foreclosing lender. This opening bid is usually equal to the outstanding loan balance, interest accrued, and any additional fees and attorney fees associated with the Trustee Sale. If there are no bids higher than the opening bid, the property will be purchased by the attorney conducting the sale, for the lender.
If this occurs, and the opening bid is not met, the property is deemed a REO or Real Estate Owned. This typically occurs because many of the properties up for sale at foreclosure auctions are worth less than the total amount owed to the bank or lender.
When you purchase property at a foreclosure sale, all junior liens other than property taxes are wiped out. Priority of liens is determined by the date of recording. When you purchase a REO aka. Bank REO, you will typically receive the property with a clean title.
In Colorado, lenders may foreclose on deeds of trusts or mortgages in default using either a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure process.
The judicial process of foreclosure, which involves filing a lawsuit to obtain a court order to foreclose, is used when no power of sale is present in the mortgage or deed of trust. Generally, after the court declares a foreclosure, your home will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
The non-judicial process of foreclosure is used when a power of sale clause exists in a mortgage or deed of trust. A “power of sale” clause is the clause in a deed of trust or mortgage, in which the borrower pre-authorizes the sale of property to pay off the balance on a loan in the event of the their default. In deeds of trust or mortgages where a power of sale exists, the power given to the lender to sell the property may be executed by the lender or their representative, typically referred to as the trustee.
The foreclosure process in Colorado is quite a bit different than in other states because here, the governor appoints a “Public Trustee” for each county in the state. The trustee must act as an impartial party when handling a power of sale foreclosure. In Colorado, the non-judicial power of sale foreclosure is carried out as follows:
The process begins when the attorney representing the lender files the required documents with the Office of the Public Trustee of the county where the property is located. The Public Trustee then files a “Notice of Election and Demand” with the county clerk and recorder of the county. Once recorded, the notice must be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the county where the property is located for a period of five (5) consecutive weeks.
The Public Trustee must also mail, within ten (10) days after the publication of the notice of election and demand for sale, a copy of the same and a notice of sale as published in the newspaper, to the borrower and any owner or claimant of record, at the address given in the recorded instrument. The Public Trustee must also mail, at lease twenty-one (21) days before the foreclosure sale, a notice to the borrower describing how to redeem the property.
The owner of the property may stop the foreclosure proceedings by filing an “Intent to Cure” with the Public Trustee’s office at least fifteen (15) days prior to the foreclosure sale and then paying the necessary amount to bring the loan current by noon the day before the foreclosure sale is scheduled.
The foreclosure sale must take place between forty-five (45) and sixty (60) days after the recording of the election and demand for sale with the county clerk and recorder. The Public Trustee may hold the sale at any entrance to the courthouse, unless other provisions were made in the deed of trust.
The lender has the option to file a suit for deficiency in Colorado and the borrower has up to seventy five (75) days after the sale to redeem the property by paying the foreclosure sale amount, plus interest.