How long does foreclosure take in Ohio?

  • Don't Move Yet!
  • Ohio Foreclosure Timeline.
  • How to Extend Foreclosure.
  • How long do you have to get out of your house after foreclosure in Ohio?
  • How long do you have to get out of your house after a sheriff's auction in Ohio?

Ohio foreclosure takes about 9 months from date the homeowner first misses a payment to moving out.  A detailed timeline is below.  This 9-month period assumes the homeowner does not make an appearance or defend the foreclosure in court.  With an attorney, the foreclosure process can take much longer.  Normally, loan modifications or deals with the mortgage company that save the home can resolve the foreclosure within 5 to 14 months with counsel.  If you are working to get a modification or deal done with the bank, how long the foreclosure takes varies depending on the bank and the bank's lawyer.  If the bank is efficient, the foreclosure  can take about four to six months.  If the bank does not want to modify the loan at first, an aggressive litigation strategy can usually get one done in about a year.  But that usually requires an attorney.


Don't Move Yet!

If you are facing foreclosure, you should NOT move from your home until the sale is confirmed (later in the process - see below).  In Ohio, you own your home.  The bank only has a lien against it.  Thus, you should NOT move until the bank has actually foreclosed on your interest, sold your home, and the judge has confirmed the sale.  You should NOT move at the point of receiving a threatening letter, or even at the point the foreclosure lawsuit is filed.  Why?  Because it is your property - you own it, and you are responsible for its care and upkeep while it is still your property.  That means if the lawn isn't mowed or the windows are broken, code enforcement comes after you, not your lender.

Not moving from your property until the foreclosure sale also ensures it is kept in good shape.  At least better shape than if someone came in and tore out all the copper pipes.  That matters to you because you could be on the hook for any losses while you own it.  Even if the bank doesn't come after you directly, keeping the property in good shape will help you get top dollar if the property is ultimately sold at foreclosure auction.  If it sells for more than you owe, then you get to keep the difference. 

Here is information about selling your home while it is in foreclosure.  Can you sell your home while it is in foreclosure?  Find out here.


Ohio Foreclosure Timeline

Here is a detailed timeline of foreclosure in Ohio.  The entire foreclosure process takes about nine months if you do nothing.

  • First 30-120 Days
    This is the period when the homeowner first gets behind in their mortgage payments. Federal law requires that you be a few months behind before a lender files foreclosure in court. This gives you time to work with them directly.

    We sometimes call this period "pre-foreclosure."

    What is pre-foreclosure?

  • 30 Days Before the Lender Files Foreclosure
    Your lender is required to mail you a letter indicating you are in default and that you ave thirty days to respond or foreclosure will begin. This is called a "notice of acceleration."

    If you have not yet contacted an attorney, now is the time to do so. We offer free consultations here.

  • The Lawsuit is Filed.
    Once you have been in default for a few months and you received the notice of acceleration, the bank will file a foreclosure lawsuit against you. In Ohio, banks must file a lawsuit to sell your home and name everyone who my have an interest. This means your spouse will also be named, irrespective of whether they are on the loan with you.
  • 1-14 Days After the Lawsuit is Filed
    You are served a copy of the lawsuit by registered mail or by personal courier/sheriff's department. This triggers your obligation to respond to the foreclosure lawsuit.

    At this stage, you should immediately have a consultation with an attorney if you have not already done so. You do not want to miss your answer deadline, which will result in a default judgment. We can schedule a free call here.

  • 29 Days Later After You are Served
    If you do not respond to the lawsuit within 28 days of receiving it (service), you will be in default. The bank can request immediate judgment against you.
  • 1-30 Days After the Bank Requests Default Judgment Against You
    If you do not answer the lawsuit, the bank will ask the court for a default judgment. The judge will sign off on that as a matter of course. This will occur as soon as the judge gets around to signing the order. This could be a day or a month or longer (expect about 7-14 days here).

    This is your last chance to get an attorney involved before things get more complicated. If you decide to hire an attorney now, it will be a race to get an answer into the court before the default judgment is granted.

    Here is that link again for our free consultation

  • 3-14 Days After Judgment is Entered
    Within a few days of receiving a judgment against you, the bank is going to ask the sheriff to sell your home. The judge isn't very involved with this aspect of the case. Instead, the bank works directly with the sheriff's department by filing a "praecipe" to sell your home.
  • 1-4 Months After Notice to the Sheriff to Sell Your Home(depending on the County)
    Once the sheriff gets notice to sell the property, he or she will have the property appraised. The sheriff selects 3 appraisers who determine the value. Once the value is established, the sheriff schedules the property for sale. The sale is advertised in the Daily Reporter for 3-5 weeks. The opening bid is required to be 2/3 of the appraised value for lender-foreclosures. Foreclosures based on past-due real estate taxes begin at the value of the overdue taxes.

    If you have reached this point, but still want to save your home, you should talk to an attorney immediately. In the mean time, you should request and fill out a complete "loss mitigation" package with your lender. If you submit that at least 45 days before the sale date, it could offer you great benefits if the lender does not pull the sale.

    This is a more difficult period to reopen the lawsuit if a default has been taken against you. An experienced foreclosure defense counsel will likely be needed to file the necessary paperwork to reopen the case. Lawyers use a device called a "60(B) Motion." If you need help at this stage, schedule your consultation today here.

  • Day of the Foreclosure Sheriff's Sale
    The property is auctioned according to Ohio law. Recent changes allow for the sale to occur at an online auction site, through a private company, or at the county courthouse. The Sheriff will auction property to highest bidder. The bank will probably bid up to the amount of its loan, in what is called a "credit bid." Anything over the amount of the judgment is returned to you upon motion to the court.

    As a side note here, some law firms are sending advertisements out that offer to recover the surplus for consumers, asking 1/3 the recovery. This is unethical and you should avoid those law firms. Instead, look for one that will recover that surplus for you on an hourly rate (like our firm). You will save thousands of dollars.

    If your property is up for sale in Franklin County, Ohio, those sales occur every Friday morning at 9 AM. Property sales information is available online here.

    Now is your last practical opportunity to call an attorney for help if you want to save your home. As soon as the sale is confirmed, it becomes incredibly hard to unwind it. Our firm might still be able to help, but we generally will ask for a larger deposit up front. You might also contact a bankruptcy attorney at this time, as that is the only way to guarantee the sale is stopped. Call us for help or for a bankruptcy lawyer referral here.

  • 1 to 30 Days After the Sale
    Once the sale is completed, the bank will file a motion with the court to confirm the sale. These are generally approved without much notice. Sometimes the bank won't even notify the parties it has requested the confirmation (which is probably reversable error). In any event, the court will generally sign off on the Confirmation of Sale within a few days.
  • 1-7 Days After the Confirmation of Sale is Entered

    After the court confirms the sale, a sheriff’s deed is prepared and given to the new owner. That might be the bank, or it could be an investor. If an investor buys your home and gets a sheriff's deed, it is nearly impossible to unwind the sale.

    An attorney probably cannot help get your home back now. However, if you filled out and sent in a complete loss mitigation package at least 45 days before the sale, you might have a substantial ($) new claim for damages. RESPA might provide you the ability to sue your mortgage servicer for failing to pull the sale while it reviewed your loan modification request. You'll need a very specific lawyer for this kind of lawsuit, as few lawyers know what the law is here - let alone how to file one of these complex federal lawsuits. Fortunately, we created some of the caselaw in this area and know what we are doing with RESPA. Give us a call or chat.

  • 1-7 Days After Deed Transfer
    Once the sale is finalized and the deed has been transfered to the new owner, the new owner will file a form to evict you from the property. They don't have to file a brand new lawsuit or an eviction. They only ask the sheriff's office for a "Writ of Possession."
  • 1-7 Days After the Sheriff Gets the Writ of Possession
    Now is the time to move. The sheriff will generally give you 3-7 days to vacate the property. If you do not move all of your belongings from the property by the deadline, the sheriff will return and set them out on the curb. You may request an extension from the sheriff's department, but they are not obligated to give you one. (You might be more likely to get an extension if the bank bought your property at sheriff's sale, versus a private person.)

How to Extend Foreclosure

The above foreclosure timeline provides a good outer-band on how long foreclosure takes in Ohio if you do nothing.  If you defend the foreclosure using some foreclosure defenses, that can extend the foreclosure time.  That is because your defenses must be adjudicated by the court before the home is sold.   A foreclosure defense attorney should be consulted to ensure the claims or defenses raised are appropriate for your case and the court.  Foreclosure defense attorneys can attack the bank's case on multiple different levels for you in a manner that is appropriate and proper in the court system.  Those foreclosure claims or defense attacks may allow for a favorable resolution for you (which is the reason for raising them).  They also take time to resolve.

Evaluating a foreclosure case requires considering a number of different areas of the law. This means a foreclosure case can become fairly complex quickly, and may require a substantial amount of time to litigate.  The worse the bank's conduct, the longer the foreclosure can take.   Learn more about the foreclosure defenses that can be raised in here.  Read about some of our results here.


How long do you have to get out of your house after foreclosure in Ohio?

You have about six weeks from the date your home is sold to get out of your house after foreclosure in Ohio.  The entire foreclosure process takes about nine months, so you will have some notice that the sale is coming.  The actual sale date is when you should begin to arrange your goods to move to get out of your house.  Once the sale occurs, the bank must ask the judge to confirm the sale.  That takes a few days.  After the judge signs off on the order, a sheriff's deed is prepared and given to the new owner as soon as they pay for the property.  That can take up to 30 days.  After that sheriff's deed is transferred, the new owner can have the sheriff immediately notify you to get out of your house.  If you fail to get out of your house by the deadline the sheriff gives you (or get an extension from the sheriff), the sheriff can go into the property and remove all the things inside.  Those are usually placed on the first public space outside the home (curb or sidewalk).

If you are concerned that you will lose your home to foreclosure, but want to save it, give us a call.  It doesn't hurt to see what an experienced lawyer can do to help.  Call or sign up online for your free consultation.


How long do you have to get out of your house after a sheriff's auction in Ohio?

You have about six weeks from the date your house is sold at sheriff's auction before you have to get out of your house.  "Foreclosure" in Ohio is the entire lawsuit process.  The sheriff's auction is the final part of the process.  The sheriff's auction is the event that comes right before you have to get out of your house.  Once the sheriff's auction occurs, some final paperwork will need to be completed.  Once those documents are done, the sheriff will serve you eviction papers.  Sometimes you can get an extension from the sheriff's department to extend the amount of time you have before you have to get out of your house.  Ask or call the sheriff's department on how to request an extension.  Each county will be different.

Want to know more about foreclosure?  Everything you need to know about foreclosure is right here.


What is a foreclosure defense? 

Find out.