When you fall

behind on your mortgage

Day 1-15: A mortgage payment is missed.


Day 16-30: A late charge is assessed on payment. The loan servicer (the company that processes your mortgage payments) will send you a notice or otherwise attempt to make contact with you.

Day 30-60+: If your mortgage is for a home you live in, the lender or loan servicer must send you a pre-foreclosure notice at least 90 days before commencing foreclosure. This 90-day window gives you the opportunity to try to work with your lender to find an alternative to foreclosure. The notice must tell you how much you must pay to bring the loan current.  It must also give you the names and telephone numbers of at least five government approved not-for-profit housing counseling agencies serving the region where you reside.


Day 1-15: The loan servicer will send a "demand" or "breach" letter pointing out that terms of the mortgage have been violated. You will be given 30 days to pay the delinquent amount and the late charge. Under the mortgage that you signed at your closing, the lender can demand the entire balance of the loan to be repaid under the acceleration clause. 

Legal Action for Foreclosure

Day 90+: The servicer will begin the process of bringing a legal action for foreclosure. This may include referring the loan to its foreclosure department, hiring an attorney to initiate foreclosure proceedings, recording a formal notice of foreclosure or “lis pendens” with the court and serving you with notice of the action through a “summons and complaint.” 

Once a summons and complaint has been served on you and the lender files proof of service with the court, the court is required to schedule a settlement conference within 60 days.


This is an opportunity for you to meet face to face with your lender or lender’s representative to reach a resolution of the case.


Our office will need proof of income such as your two most recent pay stubs and most recent tax return to prepare us for the conference. It is important that you contact us before the conference to retain so that we may be able to attend. 

You will also have to respond to the summons and complaint. In NY, you have 30 days from the initial settlement conference to put in an answer.


If you do not respond, the court can rule against you and schedule a foreclosure sale. If you do respond, the court will rule on whether a foreclosure can occur based on the evidence presented. If the court rules against the borrower (you) a foreclosure sale is scheduled.


The sale usually occurs within 90 days after the court ruling. A notice of sale is published in a general circulation newspaper. It is very important for you to check your mail regularly. The sale date notice is usually on a one page document. If you disregard this notice, your home will be sold at auction.

We have ways to stop the foreclosure auctions. Contact us once you receive the sale date.