What is a foreclosure?
Foreclosure is a legal process in which a lender sells your property to recover its losses, including the balance of the loan and costs of collecting the debt and foreclosing on the property. Foreclosure can occur for any of the following reasons:
- Failing to make loan payments
- In some cases, transferring ownership of your property without your mortgage lender's consent and paying off the debt
- Otherwise violating the terms of your loan documents
The lender may sell the property at a public auction to recover its losses. In some cases, the lender will take ownership of the property if another buyer does not bid above a certain amount.
If you receive a foreclosure notice, contact us as soon as possible so that we can determine if you're eligible for any loan assistance programs. The sooner we hear from you, the more options you may have.
We won't start or advance foreclosure proceedings while your loan is under review for loan assistance. The evaluation process begins when we receive all documents we've requested from you. No foreclosure sale will be conducted and you won't lose your home during the evaluation. Be sure to ask for details when you call.
Important: In order to protect your rights under applicable foreclosure law, continue to respond to any foreclosure notices you may receive. If you have any questions about the foreclosure process, call us at 1.800.846.2222. We also encourage you to contact a lawyer or housing counselor for help understanding the legal consequences of foreclosure.
Understand the Foreclosure Process
If the foreclosure goes forward without an alternate solution, the legal process varies from state to state, but follows two basic processes—judicial and non-judicial foreclosure. A judicial foreclosure is handled as a civil lawsuit and is conducted entirely under the supervision of the court, while a non-judicial foreclosure takes place without any formal court proceedings.
- The borrower is notified that the foreclosure process has begun
- Foreclosure papers are filed with the court and served on the borrower and all other parties with an interest in the property
- Hearings are held with the court regarding the foreclosure
- The court issues a judgment and a foreclosure sale date is scheduled
- Legal notices may be published in local papers
- The house is sold at public auction
- The borrower is notified that the foreclosure process has begun
- A notice of default is recorded
- A notice of sale is recorded and mailed, and legal notices may be published in local papers
- The house is sold at public auction
In some circumstances, you may be eligible for additional time in your home. In addition, you may be eligible to receive funds to help you with your move. If you have tenants living in your property, they may qualify for assistance as well. Contact one of our specialists for more information.
Are there alternatives to foreclosure?
If you're facing a foreclosure, we may be able to find an alternative. Don't wait until you receive a notice of foreclosure. If you want to avoid foreclosure, you should consider other options as soon as you become concerned about your ability to make your payments. The sooner you call us to explore your options, the more alternatives you may have available to you.
What if I've received a foreclosure notice?
If you're behind on your payments, call
Mon-Thu 8 a.m.-midnight ET
Fri 8 a.m.-10 p.m. ET
Sat 8 a.m.-5 p.m. ET
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Explore the options below to see if one is right for you:
I want to stay in my home
If you're having difficulty making your home loan payments, refinancing your mortgage may be an option. It may make your monthly mortgage payments more affordable by lowering your interest rate or moving you from an adjustable-rate mortgage into a fixed rate loan. Sometimes, depending on your circumstances, both are possible.
Part of the federal government's Making Home Affordable program, this program may help you qualify to refinance your mortgage and take advantage of lower rates. It's an option if you're current on your loan but are having trouble refinancing because the market value of your home is lower than the total you owe on it.
This alliance helps homeowners who are having difficulty making their payments and are at risk of foreclosure by coordinating homeowner outreach events to reach as many borrowers who need help as possible.
Part of the federal government's Making Home Affordable program, this program is designed to help homeowners who are unemployed. If you're currently unemployed and struggling to make your mortgage payments, you may qualify for a period of at least three months of suspended payments while you look for new employment.
You either make reduced mortgage payments or no payments for a period of time (generally three months) to give you a chance to get back on your feet during a temporary hardship. The missed payments are then repaid through a repayment plan in which you would resume making your normal monthly payments plus an additional amount over time.
This program is part of the federal government's Making Home Affordable program. If you qualify, you may be able to restructure your mortgage payments to make them more affordable.
This program is part of the federal government's Making Home Affordable program. If you have an FHA-insured home loan and you're having trouble paying your mortgage, you may be able to arrange a more affordable mortgage payment under this program.
This program is part of the federal government's Making Home Affordable program. If you're a military servicemember having difficulty making your mortgage payments, you may be eligible for assistance, including principal forgiveness.
We offer different modification programs which may be available to qualifying borrowers. The goal of these programs is to modify your home loan, making the monthly payments affordable and sustainable so that you may be able to avoid foreclosure.
This program was created by the federal government to help homeowners in states most affected by housing price declines and the recession. If you're having difficulty making your mortgage payments and you live in a participating state, the Hardest Hit Fund may be an option.
I would consider leaving my home
The goal of a short sale is to help you avoid foreclosure if you're no longer able to remain in your house. In the short sale process, you sell your house and settle your mortgage debt for less than the amount that you owe.
This option lets you avoid going through the foreclosure process by signing the deed to your property over to your lender. A deed in lieu can negatively affect your credit score, but the impact is generally less severe than a foreclosure.
Home Loan Assistance Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, there are alternatives to foreclosure, including short sale and deed in lieu that may allow you to settle your mortgage debt. Please contact us right away to explore options that may be available to you.
Yes. We won't start or advance foreclosure proceedings while your loan is under review for loan assistance. The evaluation process begins when we receive all documents we've requested from you. No foreclosure sale will be conducted and you won't lose your home during the evaluation. When you enter a trial period under the program, all foreclosure proceedings remain on hold so long as you are complying with the terms of your Trial Period Plan.
There are thousands of non-profit groups and government agencies across the country ready to assist you with everything from finding rental housing or employment assistance, to saving money and more. Because these organizations are focused on the unique needs of your community, the resources you find are better able to help with your circumstances and challenges.
If you were denied home loan assistance, such as a request for a loan modification, short sale or deed in lieu you may be able to dispute the decision. You can file an escalated case with us if you have reason to believe any of the following are true:
- You met all the criteria for home loan assistance but were not properly evaluated for assistance or were improperly denied assistance. This may include:
- You did not receive adequate notice from us about your foreclosure alternatives
- You were not given appropriate time to respond to communications from us during your loan review process
- Your loan was referred to foreclosure prematurely, or we did not suspend foreclosure activities when we were required to do so
You can also file an escalated case if either of these two specific concerns apply to your loan:
- You have a reasonable belief that your mortgage loan is being serviced in a fraudulent manner
- You have retained a lawyer to help you resolve a mortgage dispute with Bank of America
If you have reason to believe that any of the above apply in connection with your loan review and affected your eligibility for home loan assistance, you may file an escalated case with us to review your concerns.
Please note that inquiries about a pending request for home loan assistance or general questions about the servicing of your mortgage do not meet the requirements for an escalated case. For general servicing questions, please call 1.800.669.6607 (Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. local time).
To file an escalated case, you or any third party representing you, such as a housing counselor or attorney, should send us a brief letter describing the specific reasons you believe one of the above scenarios applies to your loan or to your application for home loan assistance. If you are represented by an attorney, please have your lawyer submit this request on your behalf.
Escalated case requests must be sent by mail to the following address:
- Bank of America Corporate Center
Attn: BAC Escalated Case Unit
P.O. Box 940508
Simi Valley, CA 93094-0508
Please note that if a third party, such as an advisor or a nonprofit advocate, contacts us to submit an escalated case on your behalf, we must have your written authorization before we can communicate with them about you or your loan. Without your written authorization, we will not be able to discuss your home loan with them. We can provide you with an authorization form upon request.
What to expect after submitting your request
Within three business days after receipt:
- If your submission meets the requirements for an escalated case, within three business days of the receipt of your request, we will send you a written acknowledgement that we have received your request. This acknowledgement will also include the estimated date by which your escalated case should be resolved, along with a toll-free number for the Escalated Case Unit.
Within 15 calendar days after receipt:
- In most cases, within 15 calendar days of receiving your request, we will mail you a written response describing the proposed resolution of your request and any next steps to be followed by you or by us. If your matter cannot be resolved within 15 calendar days, we will notify you of the delay and give you a new estimated resolution date. This new estimated resolution date, in most cases, will be no longer than 30 calendar days from the date we received your original escalated case.
Checking the status of your escalated case
Your written confirmation will include a toll-free number you can call for information about your escalated case.