What to expect during and after a Foreclosure in Arizona

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Zion Realty

After months and perhaps years of uncertainty your bank finally took the steps necessary to foreclose on your property. It might seem unreal at first. In the blink of an eye, or in this case, the spoken words of an auctioneer or judge, the place you called home no longer belongs to you. Regardless of what promises or assurances you may have received that your bank was willing to work with you on a loan modification, the cold reality now is that you are faced with being evicted. But what options do you have? Where do you go from here? The answer to those and many other questions depends on who now owns the home.


Did the home revert back to the beneficiary? The beneficiary is the bank who held the mortgage note. When a home reverts back to the beneficiary it means that no other individual placed a high enough bid to purchase the home at the foreclosure proceedings thus the bank now takes back possession. 

Did an individual purchase the property? Whether it's an investor looking for their next rental property or a traditional buyer looking to get a great deal on their next home, whoever has enough cash and is willing to place the highest bid can win the home from a trustee sale. Trustee sales are immediate and final. As soon as the individual is awarded the winning bid the home becomes theirs once the full purchase is paid for usually within 24 hours. 


In either of these two above scenarios a homeowner will now be faced with either vacating the property of their own accord, or go through the steps of being evicted. If you do not vacate the property and choose to fight the foreclosure and eviction your best option is to immediately contact an eviction attorney. Each State has their own laws and guidelines as it relates to evictions and it's imperative that you be educated on your rights.

Here in the State of Arizona, the eviction process starts with the previous homeowner being served a Written Demand Of Surrender and Possession. This is the first notice that the new homeowner is demanding the occupant vacate the premises immediately or be faced with an action of Forcible Entry and Detainer. A copy of the Trustee's Deed Upon Sale is included with this demand showing the new owner has indeed taken over possession of the property.

If the Written Demand Of Surrender and Possession is ignored by the occupant a second Notice from the Court will be served. This Notice will inform the previous homeowner of a court date that has been set in which they are required to attend or else a default judgment against them will be made . This date is usually only 7-10 days from the initial foreclosure date. At this Court proceeding you can expect the judge to inform the occupants that they are now considered trespassers on the property and will be forcibly removed by a Sheriff's Officer if they do not vacate the premises. The judge will usually give a time frame for the occupants to vacate which is generally no more than 14 days. The judge will also warn the occupants that the removal of any attached appliances (excluding refrigerators), fixtures, ceiling fans, shelving, or cabinets may result in further criminal prosecution.

Barring any other delay or stay from the Court the occupant must comply with the court order or face being forcibly removed from the property by a Sheriff's Officer if the occupant ignores the vacate date set by the Court. If then the previous homeowner ignores the Court mandate and the Sheriff's Department is called they will forcibly remove the occupants and all remaining personal items in the home will be locked up. The previous homeowners by law will have an opportunity to retrieve their personal belongings from the new owner at the new owner's convenience. 

But what now? Not only are you faced with the immediate task of finding a place to live but what will the future hold? How long will this foreclosure affect my credit? Does a foreclosure affect a person's ability to attain employment? 

A foreclosure remains on your credit report for 7 years, however, it's impact on your credit score will lessen over that time period. A Foreclosure is considered a negative event but it's a misconception that it will ruin your credit score for a very long time. If you keep all of your other debt obligations in good standing, your credit score can begin to improve in as little as 2 years. 

Most apartment or rental homes will run a credit check on an applicant. There are ways to reassure a landlord that in spite of your recent foreclosure you will be a trustworthy tenant. The first way is to offer a higher deposit. Giving a landlord reassurance that they can cover their losses should you not live up to your lease agreement can go a long way in giving them peace of mind in allowing you to rent from them. The second way is to find a co-signer. Having someone with good credit willing to co-sign the lease with you can also help assure the landlord that the rent will be paid each month. The third way is to apply for a rental right before, or shortly after your foreclosure occurs. It can take some time for your foreclosure to show up on your credit report and if you can secure a rental property before that occurs you won't have to worry as much about your rental application being denied. Of course if you were behind in your mortgage payments this information will already be on your credit report and the landlord may ask for an explanation of why you were behind.

Foreclosures can possibly affect your ability to attain employment depending upon what type of job for which you are applying. Bad credit scores are more likely to cause denials for job seekers in the finance and banking industries. Also, jobs at which a person has access to money or the opportunity to steal are more likely to be scrutinized as well. The best way to handle possible employment situations is to be up front with the employer. Companies are much more forgiving if you experienced a hardship outside of your control that caused the foreclosure. Also, explain to them your plans to get back on track. 

Having a foreclosure on your record isn't the end of the world. A plan of action will help you fully recover from this unfortunate event. Educate yourself on the foreclosure laws in your State. Know your rights when it comes to the foreclosure process and most importantly seek proper guidance from professionals who will help get you back on track. 

Zion Realty has helped many Arizona residents achieve homeownership after a foreclosure. If you have any questions about what your next steps are or need assistance in purchasing a home with a foreclosure still on your record, contact us at ZionRealtyAZ.com. We are here to educate and assist you in any way possible. 


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Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

What a great overview of the process.  I can imagine that this is devasting and extremely stressful and depressing.  Once this happens, it's extra hard to dig your way back up.  Those that can contact a realtor that specializes in short sales can make the process less painful and the road to recovery easier.

Jan 30, 2015 08:21 PM #30
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

yes...this is the way it happens and a good agent can help you navigate through it...Where better to look than to Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert  the author of this most decent posting?

Jan 30, 2015 11:04 PM #31
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint
Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Good morning Nicole. An EXCELLENT post. You have given anyone good reason to come to Nicole Doty, for counsel and assisstance, if they are faced with this highly traumatic circumstance. Indeed you show yourself to be knowledgeable in this arena. Mark

Jan 31, 2015 12:02 AM #32
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

I don't know if you would remember this, but I used to bid downtown as well, having started BuyLowAz with my partners from Gentry Realty. People called me "plus a buck Chuck" back then. We know lots of the same people from that era as I'm still good friends with quite a few people from the Posted Properties days (Steve, Jeremy, Alex, Chris, etc.). The past few years were pretty crazy. It's nice to focus on other areas for our investors- such as wholesale homes, traditional sales and new home sales. 

Jan 31, 2015 07:00 AM #33
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

An excellent post and it is good for folks to know what to expect before, during and after a foreclosure.  

Jan 31, 2015 12:18 PM #34
KRL Group FL

Great post, Nicole!  Foreclosure is a tough situation for everyone involved, especially if people don't know what to expect.  This gives a great overview for people to understand.  Thanks for sharing!


We buy Foreclosures in Tampa, FL

Jan 31, 2015 03:14 PM #35
Susan Nealey
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Annapolis, MD
No Pressure! Ever!

Great well written blog that I have bookmarked!  Thank you so much for sharing your expertise.  I always have buyers and sellers that want to know what is going to happen and you have spelled it all out way better than I could.

Feb 01, 2015 08:19 PM #36
Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent
BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684 - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

Great advice. Forclousure is a scary thing for any family to face. Knowing what to expect will at least make it a little easier. 

Feb 02, 2015 01:26 AM #37
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Excellent information. I think the most important words you have written here are these...Having a foreclosure on your record isn't the end of the world.

Feb 02, 2015 01:41 AM #38
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

As a Mortgage Lender we market to these boomerang buyers with the above

information to educate these next gen buyers. I usually like to get them in my file retention early to develop a strategy to make sure they qualify once the wait is period is expired. 

Feb 02, 2015 02:02 AM #39
Ann Wilkins
Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty - Oakland, CA
Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont CA

Nice article. Most of my clients were able to do short sales - didn't have a foreclosure.  No good deals on foreclosures anymore as the banks are setting very high prices.  

Feb 02, 2015 03:23 AM #40
Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

Like Ann Wilkins I find the few foreclosures we have here on Kauai are at or close to market price. The bargain-basement days are gone, but buyers still get good discounts on the fixer-uppers whether they're regular/short/REO sales. Great post, thanks for sharing!

Feb 02, 2015 03:34 AM #41
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

Beautifully written and very educational. Thanks for making this easy to read and comprehend. Thank goodness the foreclosure business is very limited "down here." 

Feb 02, 2015 03:58 AM #42
Bill Reddington
Re/max Southern Realty - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Great explanation of the process. Have seen it now many times but people are starting to bounce back.

Feb 02, 2015 06:10 AM #44
Mike Tizzano
Amerifirst Financial, Inc Equal Housing Oppurtinity Lender AZ BK0013635 NMLS 145368 LO:1015837 - Mesa, AZ
Protect Your Transaction Certified Lender

Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert  I experienced it myself.  I was appraising at the time.  When you go from 6 to 10 appraisals per week to 3 per month if you're lucky...I took a part time job bartending but it wasn't enough. 

Feb 02, 2015 08:24 AM #45
Marilyn O'Donoghue
Long & Foster Avalon - Avalon, NJ

Thank you for an informative and timely post.

Feb 02, 2015 10:08 AM #46
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Excellent post for real estate in Arizona. Unfortunately, not every state has the same rules, regulations or laws, yet, the information is readily available online.

Feb 03, 2015 04:35 PM #47
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

If you are smart you do a BK before the sale and make them start over again.  Not for everyone, but you should talk to an attorney.  Then around here you can generally still get Cash for Keys when they want you out.  Take the money and run. 

Feb 05, 2015 02:18 AM #48
Dale Taylor
Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois - Frankfort, IL
Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos

very well done - needs constant repeating

Feb 13, 2015 04:53 PM #49
Winston Heverly
Winston Realty, Inc. - Atlantis, FL

I think going back and reading some of Active Rains best Archives  likes this one should be shared again.

Mar 25, 2015 11:41 AM #50
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Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com
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