In some states, foreclosures can take a very long time, sometimes as long as a few years. According to a foreclosure 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 941 days in the fourth 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.
Depending on the state and circumstances, a foreclosure will be either judicial or nonjudicial.
Judicial foreclosures go through the state court system, which means the courts are involved in every step of the foreclosure. So, 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.
In a nonjudicial foreclosure, the lender doesn't have to go through court to foreclose. For this reason, nonjudicial foreclosures are typically faster than judicial ones.
Another reason that some states have long timelines is due to federal and state foreclosure prevention efforts.
To learn about your options if you are facing foreclosure, get Nolo's The Foreclosure Survival Guide.
As of the fourth quarter of 2021, according to ATTOM Data Solutions, foreclosures in the following states took an exceptionally long time.
Hawaii had the most extended foreclosure timeline, coming in at a whopping 2,491 days (over six years).
The foreclosure process in New York took, on average, 1,529 days.
Pennsylvania had the third-longest foreclosure timeline, averaging 1,502 days.
Foreclosures in Louisiana took around 1,476 days to complete.
The Florida foreclosure process took—on average—1,378 days.
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.
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.