What Is the Foreclosure Process in Ohio?

what is the foreclosure process in Ohio

If you’ve fallen behind on your home mortgage payments, it’s important to have at least a basic understanding of how the Ohio foreclosure process works. Depending on how many payments are currently past due, foreclosure may be imminent, and if it is, you should know what to expect. 

Here’s how the foreclosure process works in Ohio and what you can do to prevent the bank from taking your home. 

You Miss One or More Mortgage Payments

Once you miss a mortgage payment, and your grace period expires — most loans have grace periods of roughly 10 to 14 days — your lender will likely charge a late fee. This fee will be added to the amount of the payment you still owe. Under federal mortgage servicing laws, your lender must also attempt to contact you by phone no later than 36 days after your first missed payment. 

If you miss another payment, you’ll be assessed additional late fees until you catch up on what you owe. Your lender should also attempt to contact you again within 36 days of any subsequent missed payments.  

Your Lender Sends a Notice of Breach

Roughly 45 days after you miss your first mortgage payment, your lender will send you a letter notifying you that you’ve breached your mortgage contract and your loan is in default. 

This letter should include information on your options for catching up on your missed payments. It should also contain an explanation of the consequences of continuing to remain delinquent on your mortgage. 

Your Lender Files a Foreclosure Lawsuit

Because Ohio is a judicial foreclosure state, the court system supervises the foreclosure process. That means your lender must file a lawsuit, and the court must issue a judgment approving the foreclosure before your lender can move forward with the sale of your home. 

Your lender will likely begin foreclosure proceedings with the court roughly four months after you miss your first mortgage payment. After the lawsuit has been filed, you’ll receive a copy of the dispute and a court summons. 

While federal law requires loan services to wait at least 120 days to begin foreclosure proceedings, some situations may allow a foreclosure to start sooner. If you’re unsure what your situation looks like, it’s in your best interest to contact your lender and ask so you can take measures to cure the default before it’s too late. 

Filing an Answer With the Court

After you receive your court summons, you must file an answer with the court, either requesting foreclosure mediation or asking for additional time to work out a plan with your lender. You’ll have 28 days from the date the lawsuit was filed to do this. 

The Court Grants Judgement 

If you fail to file an answer, your lender can ask the court to issue something called a default judgment, which allows the lender to proceed with the foreclosure sale. 

If you do file an answer, your case will go through the litigation process, during which the lender can request that the court issue a summary judgment. If the court grants the summary judgment in favor of your lender, your home will then be sold at a foreclosure auction. 

Foreclosure Sale

The sale of your home will be an auction that may take place online or in person. The highest bidder in the auction will become the new owner of the property. In Ohio, you have the option of “redeeming” the home (aka curing the default by paying back your total overdue balance plus any fees) up until the court officially confirms the sale. 

Deficiency Judgment

If the amount of the sale doesn’t end up paying off what you still owe on your loan, you’ll have something known as a deficiency balance. If this is the case in your situation, your lender may sue you for the remaining amount you owe (the difference between the sale price of the home and what you still owe on the mortgage). 

In most cases, your lender will have two years to collect the remaining balance, after which they can no longer get a deficiency judgment against you. 

Need to Sell Your House Fast to Avoid Foreclosure?

If you’re facing foreclosure and need to sell your Columbus house as quickly as possible to pay back your overdue mortgage balance, get in touch with our team at We Buy Houses Columbus. We can purchase your house within a matter of days, no matter what kind of condition it’s currently in, and we’ll pay you cash at closing. We don’t charge commission fees, and we’ll cover all of your closing costs, so you’ll keep more money in your pocket after completing the sale. To get a no-obligation offer for your house or learn more about how our home-buying process works, call us today at 614-363-2585 or contact us online, and we’ll get in touch right away.