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What Are the Legal Options for Elderly Facing Foreclosure in Ohio?

Are You Facing Foreclosure?

Foreclosure is a scary word that will catch your immediate attention. The idea of losing your home, your business, or any of your property is a terrifying notion. You may be surprised to find out there are options for older adults who are looking at foreclosure.

You may be wondering what you can do to keep your property in your possession. You are likely already scrambling, trying to gather the resources and capital necessary to maintain ownership and shut down foreclosure.

What is Foreclosure?

You may be trying to avoid foreclosure. To do so, you need to better understand what foreclosure is.

Forbes describes foreclosure as the legal action a mortgage lender takes to take control of a property that is in arrears or has an unpaid, overdue debt. When a mortgage lender forecloses on a property, they take possession of the property that is in default. They can and will take possession of the property whether the owner of that property wants them to or not.

When a person makes a mortgage agreement, receiving financing from the bank in order to buy a home or other property, they agree that the bank can reclaim the property of the person who took out the loan, or borrower, stops making payments on their loan. Foreclosures can be judicial or non-judicial, depending on the state.

In Ohio, if you default on making payments for your property, the foreclosure will be judicial.

In a judicial foreclosure, the lender will file a lawsuit to initiate a foreclosure. The borrower will go to court to fight the lawsuit, and if they lose the house will go into foreclosure and be sold at auction.

What is the Judicial Foreclosure Process Like?

While every foreclosure case is inherently different from another, they generally follow the same process.

You Miss Your Mortgage Payment

Lenders usually wait at least three months before starting the foreclosure process. During this time, they will contact you and try to explain your options to get you back on track to making payments and catching up on your negative balance.

It is understandable that this can be overwhelming, but it is important to acknowledge these letters and calls. Answer when your lender calls; they may have valuable resources you can use to get back in your bank’s good graces.

Your Lender Files a Foreclosure Against You

Your lender will usually wait until the 120th consecutive day of non-payment before filing a foreclosure. The foreclosure process will not begin until your lender files against you in court. You may receive your foreclosure papers in the mail or have them served to you by a representative.

This is when you should take action. Speak with an experienced foreclosure attorney to find out your options.

You Have 28 Days to File an Answer

This will be the most important deadline you will face when being foreclosed upon. You have 28 days to file an answer or a response to your lender’s claims. If you do not answer, the court will assume you agree with everything the lender is saying, and they will win the case.

Your Home Will Be Put Up for Sheriff’s Sale

If the court decides against you, they will order your home to be placed up for sheriff’s sale. This process can vary from county to county, but the following will likely happen:

  • An expert hired by the sheriff will appraise your home. They will come and estimate the value of your home by examining the property.
  • Your home will be sold in a public auction.
  • Your home cannot be sold for less than ⅔ of the appraised value.
  • Within 60 days, the sheriff will inform the court that the sale has been completed.

Eviction From Your Home

The final act of foreclosure is receiving a letter from the sheriff’s office that the sale is complete and you must vacate the premises. The letter will inform you of how much time you have to leave the property.

What Options Do You Have?

The good news is that there are many options available for elderly people facing foreclosure, many of which were introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, if you haven’t checked your options in a while, it is likely that things have changed.


Forbearance is the assistance most banks offer. This is the process of taking your late payments, as well as possible future missed payments, and adding them to the end of your loan. Forbearance is not loan forgiveness. It increases the life of your loan and will result in you paying more for your loan than before. Sometimes, this can afford you the time you need to start making regular payments.

Save the Dream

Save the Dream is Ohio’s foreclosure prevention effort. It offers financial assistance to eligible Ohio homeowners who were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as counseling programs and other resources that can help you keep your home.

It’s Time to Speak With a Lawyer

While using one of the above-listed resources would be ideal, sometimes the only thing these banks understand is legal-speak.

Call 614-228-3664 to speak with the experienced team at Lawrence Law Office. We want what is best for you, and that is keeping you in your home.

By taking advantage of our free consultation, we can help you determine your legal and financial options and how we can help you win this fight.

Foreclosure moves fast, so call us as soon as possible to help increase your odds of keeping your house and avoiding eviction.

Lawrence Law Office

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