Ohio Foreclosure Timeline With Hiring a Lawyer

How long does foreclosure take in Ohio if you have a lawyer?

The right lawyer can not only lengthen the time, but get a deal done that helps you stay in your home.

Mortgage companies grade their foreclosure lawyers on how fast they can get foreclosure completed.  We can help slow down the foreclosure timeline to get a deal done.*

Timeline of Foreclosure

Detailed Foreclosure Timeline WITH a Lawyer*

Here is a detailed foreclosure timeline for Ohio. The entire foreclosure process takes eight to nine months if you do nothing.

  • First 120 Days.  This is the period when the homeowner first gets behind in their mortgage payments. Federal law requires that you be a four 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 may 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.  At this stage, you should immediately have a consultation with an attorney if you have not already done so. You do not want to miss your answer deadline, which will result in a default judgment. 
  • 29-60 Days Later After You are Served. During this time period, your attorney will file an answer on your behalf, or request additional time from the other side or from the court to answer.
  • During the Next 6-10 Months. Your lawyer will conduct discovery on your behalf, potentially take depositions, and conduct some motion practice as appropriate.
  • 1-4 Months Later. The bank will likely move for summary judgment, which is a motion to win.  Your lawyer will oppose that motion by showing that there is not enough evidence for them to win.  Your lawyer may also file a motion on your behalf to win the case, depending on the defenses and counterclaims you have.  
  • 2-6 Months Later the Judge will Decide the Bank's Motion. If the bank does not win its motion, trial will be scheduled.  
  • 2-4 Months Later.  A trial on the merits will take place.
  • One Month More.  Motions for various trial related matters are due to the court.
  • Two to Six Months Later.  The judge will rule on any motions related to trial.
    • If the trial was before a magistrate, you may also object to that decision before a regular judge.
  • Within 30 Days, You will Need to Appeal.
  • 3-6 Months Later.  Your appellate brief is due to the Court of appeals.
  • 2-5 Months Later.  Oral argument will take place on the appeal.
  • 4-10 Months Later.  You can expect a decision on the appeal.
  • 30-60 Days After.  If you lose the appeal, the case is remanded back to the trial court.
  • 1-3 Months Later.  A final judgment would be entered.
  • 2-8 Weeks Later.  The sheriff's department will be notified and advertise the property for sale. 
  • 3-5 Weeks.  The Sheriff will advertise the property for sale.
  • 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.    Here is our post about stopping a sheriff's sale.
  • 1 to 30 Days After the Sale.  Once the sale is completed, the bank will file a motion with the court to confirm the sale. These are generally approved without much notice. Sometimes the bank won't even notify the parties it has requested the confirmation (which is probably reversible error). In any event, the court will generally sign off on the Confirmation of Sale within a few days.
  • 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. However, if you filled out and sent in a complete loss mitigation package at least 45 days before the sale, you might have a substantial ($) new claim for damages. RESPA might provide you the ability to sue your mortgage servicer for failing to pull the sale while it reviewed your loan modification request.  You'll need a very specific lawyer for this kind of lawsuit, as few lawyers know what the law is here - let alone how to file one of these complex federal lawsuits. Fortunately, we created some of the caselaw in this area and know what we are doing with RESPA. Give us a call today.
  • 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.)

The Entire Foreclosure Process with an Attorney Can Take Years.  Call (888) 200-9824 Right Now!

Yet, the timeline Could be LONGER if Your Attorney is Familiar with Mortgage Servicing Regulations and Files a New Lawsuit in Federal Court on Your Behalf.  You will absolutely want a top-rated attorney to help.

Our Goal is to Reach Your Objectives, which sometimes takes time.  Contact us to see how we can help you reach your objectives today.

Foreclosure Timeline with an Attorney*


Months After Last Payment Foreclosure is Filed


Months of Litigation


Months of Any Appeal


Months to Get a Deal Done


Months to Get Back on Track


Months to Avoid a Deficiency Judgment and Bankruptcy

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.