In some states, foreclosures can take a very long time, sometimes 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 1,212 days in the second quarter of 2023.
Depending on the state and circumstances, a foreclosure will be judicial or nonjudicial.
Judicial foreclosures go through the state court system, meaning the courts are involved in every step of the foreclosure. So, a judicial foreclosure often takes much longer than a nonjudicial one.
Backlogged courts, judges' schedules, hearings, and required paperwork 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. But not always.
Another reason some states have long timelines is 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 second quarter of 2023, according to ATTOM Data Solutions, foreclosures in the following states took an exceptionally long time.
Michigan had the most extended foreclosure timelines, averaging 2,601 days (over seven years).
Foreclosures in Louisiana took around 2,252 days to complete.
The foreclosure process in New York took, on average, 1,966 days.
Hawaii also had long foreclosure timelines, averaging 1,934 days.
Foreclosures in Kentucky took around 1,921 days.
On the flip side, as of the second quarter of 2023, the following states had the shortest timelines: Wyoming (104 days), Minnesota (145 days), Montana (160 days), Texas (162 days), and Missouri (170 days).
If you're facing a foreclosure in a state where it takes a lot amount of time to complete the process, you'll probably have plenty of time before losing your home to:
If you live in a state where foreclosures usually 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.
But keep in mind that the timelines discussed in this article are averages. The actual length of any individual foreclosure depends on many factors, and your foreclosure could be longer or shorter than the state average.
Consider talking to a local foreclosure attorney to find out how long a foreclosure will take and get advice specific to your situation.