What Is a Judicial Foreclosure?

Mortgage Newsletter
Privacy Policy

Check Local Mortgage Rates

Today's Average 0.00%



Loan Program Choices

Use our calculator to find out your estimated monthly payment in advance: Enter the loan amount, interest rate, and length of mortgage.
Try our Mortgage Payment Calculator


A judicial foreclosure differs from a non-judicial foreclosure in that it includes a substantial amount of court involvement. Your state laws determine whether your lender must use a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure to seize your home.

The Initial Hearing

Rather than merely sending you a Notice of Default, in a judicial foreclosure a lender must file a formal notice of its intent to pursue foreclosure with the court in your county. The court will then set a hearing date. You have the opportunity to attend the hearing and, if you feel the lender is foreclosing in error, defend yourself. The court must side with the lender and grant it permission to foreclose in the initial hearing before official foreclosure proceedings may begin.

Time Frame for Judicial Foreclosure

Depending on when the court sets the hearing date, a judicial foreclosure may take a year or longer to commence. The time frame for a civil litigation hearing depends on the legal policies and procedures in the debtor’s state of residence.

The Foreclosure Sale

Before the lender can attempt to sell the home at a public auction, it must have a decree of judgment from the original court hearing. The lender may then use the decree of judgment to file for a writ of execution granting it the right to seize the property. The lender must also notify the borrower of the date and time of the impending foreclosure sale.