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Avoid foreclosure

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Most homeowners were protected from foreclosure until July 31, 2021.

Foreclosure is when the lender takes back the property after the homeowner fails to make required payments on a mortgage.

Foreclosure processes differ by state. In some states, the lender has to go to court to foreclose on your property (judicial foreclosure), but other states do not require a court process (non-judicial foreclosure). Generally, borrowers must be notified if the lender or servicer begins foreclosure proceedings. Under federal law, a servicer generally cannot start the foreclosure process until your loan is more than 120 days past due. There can be exceptions depending on your forbearance or other mortgage relief (often called “loss mitigation programs”).

Foreclosure moratoriums

Foreclosure moratoriums suspend or stop foreclosure.

If your loan is backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD/FHA, USDA, or VA, your lender or loan servicer could not foreclose on you until after July 31, 2021.

Specifically, the guidance from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, HUD/FHA, VA, and USDA prohibited lenders and servicers from beginning a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure against you, or from finalizing a foreclosure judgment or sale. This protection began on March 18, 2020.

Some states and local governments have also temporarily stopped foreclosures. This means that if your loan is not federally backed, that you still could be protected from foreclosure. Check your state’s government website for details .

If you want to learn more

Your servicer can work with you to avoid foreclosure.

The Homeowner’s Guide to Success explains the federal law and what to do if you can’t pay your mortgage.

Get expert help

Talk to a housing counselor

For help talking to your mortgage servicer or understanding your options, contact a HUD-approved housing counseling agency in your area. Housing counselors can develop a tailored plan of action and help you work with your mortgage company, at no cost to you.

Talk to a lawyer

If you need a lawyer, there may be resources to assist you, and you may qualify for free legal services through legal aid. If you’re a servicemember, you should consult with your local Legal Assistance Office.

Submit a complaint

If you have a complaint with your mortgage or forbearance plan, tell us about your issue—we'll forward it to the company and work to get you a response, generally within 15 days.