Understanding the Foreclosure Process

In Ohio, your mortgage lender must go through the court system in order to foreclose on your home. As a homeowner, this means you have the right to contest a foreclosure complaint filed against you. If a foreclosure complaint is filed against you, you should consult an attorney right away. Here's what to expect:

  • Day 1: You miss your first mortgage payment.
  • Day 16: Your mortgage lender adds late fees to your mortgage bill.
  • Days 45 – 60: Your mortgage lender sends you a "demand" or "breach" letter.
  • Day 90: After you have missed three payments, your mortgage lender will file a foreclosure complaint at your County Court of Common Pleas. You will then receive a copy of the complaint and a summons. You should contact an attorney right away.
  • Day 118: Your answer to the summons is due within 28 days. You also may request mediation during this time. Your mortgage lender will move quickly to default judgment and sheriff's sale.
  • Days 118 – 150+: If you have filed an answer to the summons, you may be granted additional time to work on a resolution with your mortgage lender. If you do not file an answer or reach a resolution, your mortgage lender will file a motion for summary judgment. If the court grants the motion, your mortgage lender will contact your local Sheriff's Office to schedule a sale.
  • Sheriff's Sale: The day of the Sheriff's Sale, your home will be placed up for auction. You are not required to leave your property at this time.
  • Redemption Period: After the sheriff's sale, the sheriff has up to 60 days to inform the court that the sale took place. The court must confirm the sale within 30 days. The time between the sheriff's sale and the confirmation is called the "Redemption Period." The Redemption Period may be as long as 90 days or as short as a couple of days. You have the right to buy back your home during the redemption period. If you choose to do so, you will owe any fees and costs incurred as a result of the foreclosure.
  • Execution of Writ: You will be given a notice by the sheriff that you must leave your home. The amount of time varies by county.

The AvoidForeclosureOhio.org website is designed for the Ohio homeowner who is struggling financially and evaluating whether to keep the house. If you are buying a house on land contract, buying a mobile home or even a tenant whose house is in foreclosure, see the Other Housing section of this website for information and resources. However, if you are buying a house with a typical loan and mortgage, then the Pre-Foreclosure and Foreclosure sections are for you. There are many helpful foreclosure avoidance programs and options but not every option is the right choice or even an available choice for every homeowner.

Your situation is unique and requires an individual assessment of available opportunities best provided by an experienced professional familiar with foreclosure avoidance programs and options. But you can start here and gain insight and understanding that will be very useful as you assess your situation.

Understanding the Foreclosure Process in Ohio