If you have become delinquent with your mortgage payments and have received notice that your property may be foreclosed on, you may be wondering what the foreclosure process in Virginia entails. The process can vary slightly from location to location, so it is important to understand what the process is and what stage in the process you are currently in. By doing so, you may learn more about any options that are currently available to you through this process.

The Power of Sale Clause
Most mortgages are initially signed with a special clause in the wording known as a power of sale clause. This clause has specific notice requirements that must be followed before the foreclosure. For example, the foreclosure sale must be advertised in a specific interval over the course of one to two weeks in a local newspaper. The advertisement must also be served to the property owner 14 days before the sale is to occur. There also rules regarding when the actual sale can occur that property the property owner’s rights. Under the power of sale clause, the property can be auctioned off to the highest bidder. The bidder must make a cash deposit of at least 10 percent of the bid.

A Judicial Process
The power of sale clause option is a non-judicial option, but there is also a judicial option for the foreclosure process in Virginia. With this process, the property will be sold in a publicly noticed sale, and a local sheriff usually facilitates this process. This type of judicial process usually includes a lis pendens being recorded against the property.

The Time Frame
The typical foreclosure process in Virginia takes approximately 60 to 90 days. While some will walk through this process, others may want to avoid foreclosure. A short sale is an alternative to a foreclosure. It essentially means that the owner is selling the property for less than what is owed to the lender. The lender must agree to the short sale beforehand. While a short sale can impact the credit of the property owner and result in a loss for the mortgage holder, it may be a more attractive option than the alternative for both parties.

If you are facing a foreclosure, understanding the foreclosure process in Virginia is important. You may consider working with a real estate agent and an attorney to learn more about how you can avoid foreclosure and minimize the impact to your credit rating.