Ohio Foreclosure Timeline Without Hiring an Attorney

How long does foreclosure take in Ohio if you allow the bank to take it without a fight?

Detailed Foreclosure Timeline Without Hiring a Lawyer

Here is a detailed foreclosure timeline. The entire foreclosure process takes about 4 months from the date you are served to the date you must move out if you do nothing.  Hiring a lawyer can give you a year or more, and result in a deal to where we save your home completely.  See the timeline with hiring a lawyer here.

  • First 120 Days.  This is the period when the homeowner first gets behind in their mortgage payments. Federal law requires that you be a few months behind before a lender files foreclosure in court. This gives you time to work with them directly. We sometimes call this period "pre-foreclosure." It is a great time to consult a lawyer because it offers the most opportunities to plan a course of action. An attorney can help you avoid a deficiency judgment (and avoid bankruptcy) with the right kind of negotiated deal with the bank.
  • 30 Days Before the Lender Files Foreclosure.  Your lender is required to mail you a letter indicating you are in default and that you have thirty days to respond or foreclosure will begin. This is called a "notice of acceleration."  
  • The Lawsuit is Filed.  30 days after the letter, the bank will file a foreclosure lawsuit against you. In Ohio, banks must file a lawsuit to sell your home and name everyone who my have an interest. This means your spouse will also be named, irrespective of whether they are on the loan with you. It does not necessarily mean they will owe any money under the loan.
  • 1-14 Days After the Lawsuit is Filed.  You are served a copy of the lawsuit by registered mail or by personal courier/sheriff's department. This triggers your obligation to respond to the foreclosure lawsuit.  
  • 29 Days Later After You are Served. If you do not respond to the lawsuit within 28 days of receiving it (service), you will be in default. The bank can request judgment against you immediately.
  • 1 Day Later. If you do not answer the lawsuit, the bank will ask the court for a default judgment. The judge will sign off on that as a matter of course. This will occur as soon as the judge gets around to signing the order. This could be a day or a month (expect about 1-14 days here).  
  • 3-14 Days After Judgment is Entered. Within a few days of receiving a judgment against you, the bank is going to ask the sheriff to sell your home. The judge isn't very involved with this aspect of the case. Instead, the bank works directly with the sheriff's department by filing a "praecipe" to sell your home.  
  • A Few Days Later, the Sheriff Issues Notice that Your Home Will Be Sold at Auction. Once the sheriff gets notice to sell the property, he or she will have the property appraised. The sheriff selects 3 appraisers who determine the value. Once the value is established, the sheriff schedules the property for sale.  
  • The sale is advertised in the newspaper for 3-5 weeks. The opening bid is required to be 2/3 of the appraised value for lender-foreclosures. Foreclosures based on past-due real estate taxes begin at the value of the overdue taxes. The lender may ask the judge to allow for a private sale instead of a courthouse auction.
  • Day of the Foreclosure Sheriff's Sale. The property is auctioned according to Ohio law. Recent changes allow for the sale to occur at an online auction site, through a private company, or at the county courthouse. The Sheriff will auction property to highest bidder. The bank will probably bid up to the amount of its loan, in what is called a "credit bid." Anything over the amount of the judgment is returned to you upon motion to the court.  As a side note here, some law firms are sending advertisements out that offer to recover the surplus for consumers, asking 1/3 the recovery. This is unethical and you should avoid those law firms. Instead, look for one that will recover that surplus for you on an hourly or flat rate rate (like our firm). You will save thousands of dollars.  Here is our post about stopping a sheriff's sale.
  • 1 to 30 Days After the Sale.  The sales is finalized once the buyer pays the purchase price.  Once the sale is completed, the bank will file a motion with the court to confirm the sale. These are generally approved without notice. The court will generally sign off on the Confirmation of Sale within a few days.  This is a final entry and cannot be reversed if a third party bought your home.
  • 1-7 Days After the Confirmation of Sale is Entered. After the court confirms the sale, a sheriff’s deed is prepared and given to the new owner.  That might be the bank, or it could be an investor. If an investor buys your home and gets a sheriff's deed, it is nearly impossible to unwind the sale.  An attorney probably cannot help get your home back now. 
  • 1-7 Days After Deed Transfer.  Once the sale is finalized and the deed has been transferred to the new owner, the new owner will file a form to evict you from the property. They don't have to file a brand new lawsuit or an eviction. They only ask the sheriff's office for a "Writ of Possession."
  • 1-7 Days After the Sheriff Gets the Writ of Possession. Now is the time to move. The sheriff will generally give you 3-7 days to vacate the property. If you do not move all of your belongings from the property by the deadline, the sheriff will return and set them out on the curb. You may request an extension from the sheriff's department, but they are not obligated to give you one. (You might be more likely to get an extension if the bank bought your property at sheriff's sale, versus a private person).

Compare this timeline to the timeline if you hire a lawyer.


4 Months to Move if You Do Nothing!

Contact One of Our Top-Rated Foreclosure Defense Lawyers to Work to Save Your Home.


Foreclosure Timeline Without an Attorney

Versus With a Lawyer


Months After Last Payment Foreclosure is Filed

No Litigation


Month Later and Default is Entered


Months More and the Home is Sold at Sheriff's Sale


Month Later You Are Asked to Move


Months with Deficiency Judgment Possible

Act Now or Read More About Foreclosure Defense

Contact one of our top rated foreclosure lawyers today at (888) 200-9824 for immediate help.

Read more about how we can help you avoid bankruptcy, secure a loan modification, or stop the sheriff's sale. We also offer lots of information about preforeclosure, the fears and benefits people experience, and tons of Ohio foreclosure FAQs, Florida Foreclosure FAQs, and even an Ohio foreclosure timeline.

* There are no guarantees with any timeline with or without counsel.  Each county operates differently, so these time frames can vary.  However, in any event, failing to answer a foreclosure lawsuit will result in a default judgment as compared to answering.