By Jedidiah McKeehan

A foreclosure is what occurs when a homeowner stops making their monthly mortgage payments on their residence.  When a bank provides a loan to someone to purchase a home, they require that the homeowner sign documentation allowing the bank to take the house if the mortgage payments are not made.


Typically, once a homeowner misses 3 payments and becomes 90 days late on their mortgage payments, they will receive a letter from the bank stating that if they do not get their payments caught up within 30 days, that foreclosure proceedings will begin.


If the homeowner still has not caught up their payments within 30 days, then the bank will contact an attorney about beginning official foreclosure proceedings.


The foreclosure statute provides that the foreclosure sale cannot take place until at least 20 days after the foreclosure is first advertised in a local newspaper and it will take some time for an attorney to get a title search done, and then contact a newspaper about listing the property for sale.


During all this time, the homeowner may be trying to get together funds to get caught up on their payments, attempting to obtain a loan modification, or sell the house themselves.  At a bare minimum though, a homeowner is usually looking at 90 days + 30 days + 20 days before a foreclosure sale will take place.  Then, if the homeowner does not voluntarily leave after the sale, the bank may have to evict the homeowner by filing a detainer warrant and then a writ of possession to have the homeowner removed from the property.


If a homeowner desires to keep the property, the bank is typically receptive to working out some kind of payment arrangement as a bank does not want to be in the business of owning houses, but instead in the business of loaning individuals money.

Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties.  He works in many areas, including criminal, personal injury, landlord-tenant, probate, and estate planning. Visit for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.