What you need to know about Foreclosure
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Are you experiencing financial difficulties and concerned about your ability to make your mortgage payments? Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is working to provide home owners information and assistance to prevent foreclosure through HomeSafe Georgia and other foreclosure prevention programs. DCA is in partnership with a network of nonprofit housing counseling agencies with certified housing counselors who will help you review your living expenses and provide options to reduce expenses while concentrating your resources to bring your mortgage current.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the foreclosure process in Georgia?
The foreclosure process in Georgia is non-judicial. This means that the lender does not need to take you to court in order to begin foreclosure proceedings. However, there are steps that the lender must take to initiate the foreclosure. You must be at least 90 days behind on your mortgage. The lender or the lenderís attorney must advertise the intended date of foreclose for 30 days in a legal publication in your county of residence. While you are in the foreclosure process you can work with your lender and/or with a housing counselor to answer specific questions and provide assistance in avoiding foreclosure. National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Agencies (PDF).
2. What if I have lost my job and have no income?
When you lose your job or are laid off, it is imperative that you demonstrate to the lender that you are actively seeking work and income, or that your household has other resources to continue to pay the mortgage while they attempt to work with you. It may be possible to reduce or suspend your payments during the time you have little or no income and then make up the missed payments when income is available again. Contact a certified housing counselor for assistance through DCA or HUD's websites (see links below). You may also qualify for the HomeSafe Georgia Temporary Mortgage Assistance Program which is designed to assist those who are unemployed or underemployed.
3. After I work with a counselor to find a way to bring my mortgage current, how can I communicate and propose the plan to my lender?
The counseling agencies are provided with a list of contacts for the major lender institutions. Your counselor can help you submit your request for foreclosure prevention in writing with definite dates for payments and negotiate reductions in fees and penalties where possible. An important service in housing counseling can be to review your lender’s workout programs and help you provide the required paperwork and supporting documentation. You will be responsible for making agreed upon payments.
4. Do the counseling agencies have funds to assist me in bringing my mortgage current?
The legislation that created funding for foreclosure prevention counseling services prohibits using the money for direct financial assistance to borrowers. There may be other resources within the agency or through other community partners. You should talk with your housing counseling agency to determine if there are funds available to bring a mortgage current. Most agencies have information and referral services that may be able to assist you with other expenses, such as prescription costs or utilities. However, HomeSafe Georgia provides financial assistance to lenders on behalf of those homeowners who meet the eligibility requirements for the program.
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Downloads & Related Links
HomeSafe Georgia Temporary Mortgage Assistance Program
HomeSafe Brochure in English (PDF)
HomeSafe Brochure in Spanish (PDF)
Making Home Affordable
Fair Housing Brochure (English) (PDF)
Fair Housing Brochure (Spanish) (PDF)
HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agencies
NFMC funded Housing Counseling Agencies (PDF)
Report Mortgage Fraud
Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs
Loan Scam Alert
Georgia Department of Community Affairs
60 Executive Park South, N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30329-2231
800-359-4663 or 404-679-4840