Summary of California's Foreclosure Laws

Related Ads

Need Professional Help? Talk to a Lawyer

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

searchbox small

If you are facing foreclosure in California, it’s important to understand some of the basics, including:

  • the most common type of foreclosure procedure (judicial v. nonjudicial) used in California
  • how much time you have to respond
  • your rights and protections in the process, and
  • what happens afterwards (for example, whether you’ll be liable for a deficiency judgment).

 Below we have outlined some of the most important features of California foreclosure law. Keep in mind that this is just a summary; we’ve included statute citations so you can get more details from the laws themselves. And be sure to check out Nolo’s extensive Foreclosure section, where you can find information about all aspects of foreclosure, definitions of foreclosure terms (like redemption and reinstatement), and options to avoid foreclosure.

Topic

State Rule

Most common type of foreclosure process

Nonjudicial under power of sale in deed of trust

Time to respond

Lenders must personally contact (or meet the requirements for attempting to contact) homeowners to explore options for avoiding foreclosure 30 days before recording the notice of default. All homeowners get a 90-day notice of default and a 20-day notice of sale.

Reinstatement of loan before sale

Allowed up to five days before date of sale

Redemption after sale

Not available if deficiency judgment is waived or prohibited

Special protections for foreclosures involving high-cost mortgages

Cal. Fin. Code § 4973 makes a number of abusive loan practices unlawful. Section 4978 provides remedies that include authority for a judge to reform the loan to comply with the law. These provisions don’t apply to mortgages held by the secondary market (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac) or to assignees who have no reason to know of the loan origination violations.

Special state protections for service members

Protections similar to those under the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act extended to members of the National Guard called or ordered into active state service by the governor or into active federal service by the President of the United States. Also applies to reservists who have been called to full-time active duty. Cal. Mil. & Vet. Code §§ 400 to 409.13

Deficiency judgments

Not allowed

Cash exempted in bankruptcy

Up to about $25,340 under California exemption System 2

Notice to leave after the house is sold

New owner must give former homeowner three-day notice to quit (leave) and file an unlawful detainer lawsuit to evict.

Foreclosure statutes

Cal. Civ. Code §§ 2923.5, 2924 to 2924I

A new law providing more protections to California homeowners in foreclosure, the Homeowners Bill of Rights, will go into effect on January 1, 2013.  To learn more see California Foreclosure Protection: The Homeowner Bill of Rights.

Updated by: , Contributing Editor

Talk to a Lawyer

Start here to find foreclosure lawyers near you.
HOW IT WORKS
how it works 1
Briefly tell us about your case
how it works 2
Provide your contact information
how it works 1
Choose attorneys to contact you
LA-NOLO2:DRU.1.6.2.20140813.27175