Average Foreclosure Takes 17 Months
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Average Foreclosure Takes 17 Months

Did you know that the average homeowner that is in the middle of a foreclosure has not made a single mortgage payment in the last 17 months? Now that’s an average. That means there are some homeowners who have held on to their mortgage payments even longer while some are not that far along. But an average of 17 months is a long time regardless. Especially when you consider that the average length of time for the same situation only two years ago was at 11 months.

There are several factors contributing to the reason why it takes so long to actually foreclose on a home and evict the residents. For one thing, banks are bombarded with foreclosures every month and the stack of papers just continues to grow. There is not enough manpower in the banks and lending institutions to carry out a foreclosure quickly and efficiently. Many people are taking advantage of this and living in their homes for free for many months.

Another reason for the delay is due to the long review process for mortgage loan modifications. Many homeowners are choosing this route in hopes of reducing the amount of their loan payments each month so they can afford their mortgage and stay in their home for the time being. But loan modifications are a lengthy process which makes the banks even more backed up than they already are.

Throw into the mix last year’s problem with bank employees improperly filing mortgage documents without reading them fully and it’s a perfect storm of problems for banks and mortgage lenders. There were literally tens of thousands of mortgages filed last year that were never given a proper evaluation. And now the banks have to be extra careful so there is not a repeat of this scandal.

According to one mortgage industry research company, there were about 2.2 million homes in the foreclosure process at the end of last month. And since there are more coming along every day, that 17-month average may get even longer before year’s end. Some analysts are predicting that the average time a person can stay in a home before actually getting evicted will be between 22 and 23 months by the end of 2011. Some banks are trying to speed along the process by hiring more workers to deal just with the foreclosures they have on their desks. But this probably won’t get the process done too much quicker, or at least not enough to make it noticeable.

Others are saying that it would be a bad idea to speed up the process because it would mean a huge number of homes on the market. That could lead to depressed prices on the homes which could be bad news for the market. Are you in the middle of a foreclosure? How long has it been since you’ve made a mortgage payment? Or are you one of the lucky ones who can still make their payment without any problem?


  • Pat H

    August 13, 2012

    In Missouri our foreclosure took 32 months.

  • Marley

    April 11, 2013

    Yes, I was foreclosed on in 2011 for a house that we returned to the bank in 2008. After working for the prior two years to negotiate "something" we finally gave up and left. When we vacated the property we sent a letter along with EVERY KEY WE HAD that belonged to the house to the bank. We sent the letter certified, and made copies of it all.

    My question/comment is:
    Why are we being penalized as far as not being eligable for a home loan due to the 3 years the bank took to officially foreclose on the property. We have, as always maintained a good credit rating with the exception of the foreclosure. I see this as a double penalty held against homeowners working to start anew.

    We looked to start the healing process the day we vacated the house.

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