How many payments behind can you be before home foreclosure starts? This is a question that no one wants to think about. When bills are piling up, it can put a huge amount of stress on your family. Losing your home is one of the hardest problems you may ever face, and uncertainty about how long until foreclosure happens just adds to that burden.

How Many Months Behind Before Foreclosure In Texas?

Under federal law, your mortgage holder has to wait until you’re over 120 days delinquent before they can start the official nonjudicial foreclosure process. That’s about 4 months behind before foreclosure.

During which time, you will receive calls and letters both advising you that you’re past due. Some creditors may even offer mitigation options that could help you avoid foreclosure. Don’t ignore these phone calls or letters as they can provide valuable information and help you understand what options may be available with that lender.

Once you reach that point, there are two more notifications you may receive via certified mail that are part of the Texas foreclosure process:

  • Notice Of Default  –  This official notice lets you know that the lender is calling the past-due balance of the entire loan due. It will lay out a timeline that allows you at least 20 days to pay the delinquency and keep the loan terms currently in force. If you aren’t able to, your loan will be accelerated.
  • Notice Of Sale –  Acceleration means that the entire remaining balance of the loan is due immediately. This notice will also tell you when the home will be sold at a foreclosure sale by the trustee, which must be at least 21 days from the date of the letter. Foreclosure sales in Texas are held the first Tuesday of each month, often on the courthouse steps, between 10 AM and 4 PM.

This means once it begins, foreclosure can take as few as 41 days.

How long can property taxes go unpaid before foreclosure in Texas?

Texas law states that if your previous year’s property taxes are not paid by February 1st of the current year, you will be considered delinquent on your and your county will put a lien on the property for the amount of taxes owed and late fees.

At that point, they may also begin the foreclosure process in court. If you can’t pay the lien or stop the foreclosure process by the court date, the judge will grant foreclosure, allowing the county to sell your property to fulfill the lien.

Redeeming Your Property

Once your property is foreclosed on and sold for any reason, it can be difficult to get it back. In the case of a nonjudicial foreclosure, Texas foreclosure laws do not grant the right to redeem your home or pay to get it back. A property tax foreclosure does allow that option during the first two years by repaying the high bidder, all additional funds and fees on the property, plus either a 25% premium the first year or a 50% premium the second year, making it an option that’s out of reach for most.

How Bankruptcy Can Save Your Property

An automatic stay in bankruptcy can help stop the foreclosure, in spite of the number of payments or months you are behind, bankruptcy can give you the time you need to get your finances in order. Depending on your decisions, your lawyer may recommend one of two types of bankruptcy to restructure or get rid of your debt:

  • Chapter 13 – Under this plan, your past-due mortgage debt will be restructured to protect your home and allow you to get caught back up over 3-5 years. This is meant to help protect your property while you get back on track and can help you pay thousands less on the debt you owe over that time.
  • Chapter 7 –  Sometimes someone doesn’t want to keep a home that is scheduled for foreclosure. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows someone to give back a house through the bankruptcy, and wipe out all of the debt as well as all unsecured debts so someone can rebuild with a clean slate.

Talk to a Texas Foreclosure Lawyer

If your home is at risk, you need an experienced attorney who has a track record of helping clients regain their financial footing.

One of our personal bankruptcy attorneys can guide you through the bankruptcy or foreclosure processes, and help you understand your best options. It all starts with a free, no-obligation consultation. Call Leinart Law Firm to get the legal help you need to avoid foreclosure today.