The F word. I’ve avoided it here for 28 years. Unfortunately, foreclosure is what often hap-pens when a borrower can no longer make his or her mortgage payments. The word alone makes me queasy. Even queasier-making is the fact that in the first half of 2022 foreclosures were up 219% annually across the U.S. However, as grim as that seems, but for the government’s pandemic-inspired moratorium, most of these homes would’ve been fore-closed on two years ago; moreover, recently purchased homes have had very little default or delinquency.

Even so, below is a cheat sheet of sorts, a nano-guide to foreclosure: its steps and how to avoid it.

Foreclosure begins with the first missed payment and progresses slowly until all missed payments and late fees have been satisfied — or not. A typical foreclosure takes approximately three to 32 months. The homeowner is allowed to remain in the home while the process wears on. But, once the house is sold, the resident will be ordered to vacate. Makes sense. Sad sense.

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