What is a Notice of Default?

It is a recorded document here in California that is usually filed by your mortgage company because your mortgage payment has not been made. Usually, it is within 3 months of not receiving a payment, but it can vary depending on the mortgage company. Don’t forget that due to COVID we were also seeing forbearance and deferments that may have terms that are now ending,


You are behind in your payments; you received the Notice of Default. What are your next steps?

1. Contact your mortgage company – While it sounds simple, depending on what you are currently going through, it can be emotionally difficult to want to pick up the phone. On the other hand, if you power through the phone conversation, you might find that you have options that you did not know about.


2. Reach out to a lender – Yes, you are behind on your mortgage payments but if your mortgage company cannot offer a workable solution then try, try again. Another lender may have options for you to take advantage of that your current mortgage holder does not make available.


3. Under no circumstances should you lose the equity that you have in your home! If you have no other choice but to be removed from the property because eventually the Notice of Default will turn into the bank taking possession of the property. Filing the NOD is the first step. By deciding to sell your home, that is the first step in feeling like you are gaining some control over what is going on. With the successful sale of your home, hopefully the equity is enough to bring you up to date on other bills, if you owe any, bringing up your credit score and providing you with a bit of savings. Look at that as a goodbye gift from your home or a return on your investment. Up to you.


Now, are mortgage companies the only ones that can file a Notice of Default? Absolutely NOT!


If you are behind on your taxes, the county assessor can file a Notice of Default.


If you have an HOA and are behind on payments to them, the HOA can file a Notice of Default too.


Even if you are paying your primary mortgage but there are other loans filed against your home, they can file for Notice of Default.  


Does Bankruptcy spare you from Eviction? Not necessarily. Make sure you speak to your Bankruptcy attorney and are blunt about what your goal is to file the correct bankruptcy.