States With Long Foreclosure Timelines

In some states, foreclosures take considerably longer than in others. Learn where and why.

In some states, foreclosures can take a very long time, sometimes as long as a few years. According to a U.S. Foreclosure Market Report from ATTOM Data Solutions, the average number of days for a foreclosure between the first public notice of foreclosure and the end of the foreclosure was a lengthy 922 days in the second quarter of 2021.

If you're facing a foreclosure in a state where it takes a considerable amount of time to complete the process, you'll probably have plenty of time before losing your home to:

Read on to learn where (and why) some foreclosures take longer than others.

Judicial Foreclosures Usually Take Longer Than Nonjudicial Ones

Depending on the state and circumstances, a foreclosure will be either judicial or nonjudicial.

How Judicial Foreclosures Work

Judicial foreclosures go through the state court system, which means the courts are involved in every step of the foreclosure. As a result, a judicial foreclosure often takes a lot longer than a nonjudicial one.

Backlogged courts, judges' schedules, hearings, and required paperwork all contribute to a prolonged process. Courts are often unable to process large volumes of foreclosures in an expedited manner.

How Nonjudicial Foreclosures Work

In a nonjudicial foreclosure, the lender doesn't have to go through court to foreclose. For this reason, nonjudicial foreclosures are often faster than judicial ones.

Homeowner Protection Laws Delay Foreclosures

Another reason that some states have long timelines is due to federal and state foreclosure prevention efforts.

  • Foreclosure moratoriums and mortgage forbearance programs. Various foreclosure moratoriums due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act mortgage forbearance program extended foreclosure timelines for many owner-occupied homes by at least a year.
  • Foreclosure laws. California, Colorado, Minnesota, and Nevada, for instance, all passed laws to increase homeowner protections, which can slow down the process. Foreclosures can take a long time because lenders and servicers must comply with the requirements under these laws.
  • Mediation laws. Some states, cities, and municipalities have passed foreclosure mediation laws that can delay the foreclosure process.
  • Changes to mortgage servicing laws. Federal laws that went into effect in 2014 added federal protections for homeowners in foreclosure. For example, a mortgage servicer generally can't officially begin the process until the borrower is more than 120 days overdue on payments. On June 28, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized a rule, making it mandatory for loan servicers to enhance their efforts to help homeowners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The rule ensures that borrowers get a meaningful chance to pursue loss mitigation options to avoid foreclosure and allows servicers to offer assistance to borrowers faster.

To learn about your options if you are facing foreclosure, get Nolo's The Foreclosure Survival Guide.

Top Five States With the Longest Foreclosure Timelines

As of the second quarter of 2021, according to ATTOM Data Solutions, foreclosures in the following states took an exceptionally long time.

Hawaii

As of the second quarter of 2021, Hawaii had the most extended foreclosure timeline, coming in at a whopping 3,068 days (over eight years).

New York

The foreclosure process in New York took (on average) 1,822 days.

Indiana

Indiana had the third-longest foreclosure timeline, averaging 1,617 days.

Wisconsin

Foreclosures in Wisconsin took around 1,587 days to complete.

New Jersey

The New Jersey foreclosure process took, on average, 1,471 days.

States With the Fastest Foreclosure Timelines

On the flip side, as of the second quarter of 2021, Wyoming's foreclosure process was relatively quick, averaging 173 days. Arkansas (253 days), Tennessee (270 days), Virginia (280 days), and Mississippi (292 days) also had shorter timelines.

Talk to an Attorney

If you live in a state where foreclosures tend to take a long time and you're about to go through one, you likely will have plenty of time to apply for—and hopefully get—an alternative to foreclosure. Though, keep in mind that the timelines discussed in this article are averages. The actual length of any individual foreclosure depends on a number of factors, and your foreclosure could be longer or shorter than the state average.

To find out how long a foreclosure is likely to take in your circumstances and get advice specific to your situation, consider talking to a local foreclosure attorney.

Talk to a Lawyer

Start here to find foreclosure lawyers near you.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
FACING FORECLOSURE ?

Talk to a Foreclosure attorney.

We've helped 75 clients find attorneys today.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you