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A legal research guide on the state and federal laws for foreclosure.

Before the Sale

Step 1: Providing Notice or Filing the Lawsuit

In non-judicial and expedited foreclosures, the homeowner will be sent a notice letting them know the loan or obligation is in default. This notice is often referred to as a "Notice of Default."

In a judicial foreclosure, the lienholder will file a petition with the district or county court (depending on how much money is involved) and the homeowner would then be served with the paperwork, usually by a process server or county constable.

In most cases involving a home loan, federal regulations state the foreclosure action cannot begin until the loan is over 120 days delinquent. 

Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 16.035 places a 4-year statute of limitations on foreclosure actions though there are some exceptions to this law.

Federal Rules

Understanding the Law

Right to Reinstate

In a nonjudicial foreclosure, Texas law gives the homeowner the right to reinstate their loan by paying the amount that was past due, not the total loan amount, within 20 days after receiving the notice of default. It's also important to check the loan documents, as they may provide additional time in which to reinstate the loan. 

Texas Law

Understanding the Law

Request for an Expedited Foreclosure

Once the homeowner has been notified, lienholders who qualify may then file an Application For Expedited Order with the court if they would like to proceed with an expedited foreclosure. If granted, the lienholder may then proceed with the sale of the property without the need for a judgment from the court, which is required in a judicial foreclosure.

Court Rules

Step 2: Notice of Sale or Order of Sale

In a non-judicial foreclosure, after the 20-day "right to reinstate" period has expired and at least 21 days before the sale, the servicer must provider the borrower with a Notice of Sale, letting them know the date and earliest time of the sale. These notices can also be called “Notice of Trustee’s Sale” or “Notice of Substitute Trustee’s Sale." This notice must also be posted on the courthouse door and filed with the county clerk.

In a judicial foreclosure, once the court has issued their judgment granting the foreclosure, the clerk of the court will prepare an Order of Sale directing the sheriff or constable to sell the property at auction.

Texas Law

Court Rules

E-Books from the Texas State Law Library

You can borrow the e-books below with your library account. Don't have a library account? Texas residents can register for a library account online! Learn more about how to register online.

Volume 1, Ch. 8 discusses nonjudicial foreclosures. Volume 4, Ch. 53 discusses real property security interests and Ch. 70 discusses property tax foreclosures. Volume 5, Ch. 100, §103.06 discusses property owners' association foreclosures.