Becoming a homeowner can be one of the most important milestones in one’s adult life. Owning a home also comes with major financial responsibilities. Homeowners must pay their mortgage every month to retain ownership of their home and avoid the risk of foreclosure. Foreclosure is a process that is instituted by a mortgagor to take possession of a property where a homeowner has failed to make their scheduled mortgage payments. Homeowners that want to retain possession of their homes must understand the foreclosure process and how important it is to be proactive and not wait until a foreclosure action has been instituted. Communicate with the Mortgage Servicer – When a homeowner misses a payment, they are usually afforded a grace period before any late fees and penalties accrue. If a homeowner misses several payments, the mortgage servicer will either sends notice through the mail, call the homeowner directly to inform them of their missed payments, or both. Do not ignore these letters and phone calls, communicate with your mortgage servicer and attempt to work out an agreement or payment arrangement. Notice of Default and Intent to Accelerate – The next step before a mortgagor forecloses on a home is to send the homeowner a Notice of Default and Intent to Accelerate demand letter. This letter informs the homeowner that their loan is in default, the amount to cure the default, the amount of time afforded to the homeowner to cure the default, and that failing to cure the default within a specified time could result in foreclosure. This letter is a signal that foreclosure is around the corner. The best course of action is to pay the reinstatement amount in full. Partial payments could still result in a foreclosure. Intent to Accelerate – The demand letter will also inform the homeowner that if they fail to pay the amount to cure the default the mortgagor will exercise their right to accelerate the loan and proceed with a foreclosure. When a mortgagor exercises their right to accelerate, they demand that the entire balance of the loan be repaid if the borrower defaults on the loan. Notice of Sale and Posting for Foreclosure – If a homeowner fails to cure the default within the time specified in the Notice of Default and Intent to Accelerate; a second letter is sent to the homeowner informing them that their home is being foreclosed on and will be sold at public auction. This is the last chance for the homeowner to save their home. They must pay the full balance on the loan or their home will be scheduled for sale.