Legal Insights / Civil Litigation / You’ve received Foreclosure Documents: now what?

You’ve received Foreclosure Documents: now what?

Feb 20 2024

Receiving foreclosure documents can be a distressing experience, but it’s crucial to understand your rights and options to navigate the process effectively. Here’s a breakdown of what you might have received, the steps you can take, and how we can help:

Understanding the Documents:

  1. Demand Letter from the Lender: This typically serves as a formal notice of default on your mortgage. It outlines the amount owed and provides a deadline for payment to avoid further action.
  2. Package from the Land Title Office: This includes a court Petition filed by the lender, initiating foreclosure proceedings, and a Certificate of Pending Litigation indicating that legal action has been taken against the property.
  3. Formal Service of Filed Court Documents: You may receive formally filed court documents, such as a Petition and Affidavit, indicating that legal action has commenced, you are being served with official court filings, and your timeline to file a Response to Petition has started.

Next Steps and Options:

  1. Responding to the Documents: It’s essential to review the documents carefully and respond appropriately within the specified timeframe. This could involve disputing the claims made by the lender or negotiating terms for repayment or forbearance. We can assist you in understanding how to respond at different stages, and often we can buy valuable time for you and assist you in figuring out a plan to move forward.
  2. Listing Property for Sale or Negotiating Refinance: You may explore options to sell the property or negotiate refinancing with a different lender to pay off the existing mortgage and avoid the foreclosure. Where this is the plan, it can be valuable to advise the foreclosing lender of this and seek additional time to finalize your plan before having to respond to court documents or attend court hearings.
  3. Disputing the Foreclosure: If you believe the foreclosure is unjustified, you can dispute it on various grounds, such as questioning the validity of the mortgage or asserting that you haven’t defaulted on the terms.
  4. Allowing Foreclosure Proceedings: While this may seem like the least desirable option, it’s crucial to consider the implications and potential consequences of allowing the foreclosure process to proceed. In certain circumstances, the best option can be to let the lender proceed to a Court Ordered Sale of the property. In some circumstances, when there is equity left over after all registered charges are paid out, that money is paid into court and you can recover it.

Stages of Foreclosure Proceedings:

  1. Filing a Response: Upon receiving foreclosure documents, you’ll need to file a Response to the Petition, either contesting the foreclosure or presenting your proposed resolution. There are important timelines within which you need to respond, so be sure to seek our assistance earlier rather than later so we have time to advise you and prepare the appropriate response on your behalf.
  2. Court Hearing and Order Nisi: After the timeline to file a Response to the Petition expires, the lender will typically attend court and seek an Order Nisi. This order sets out a period within which you must “redeem” the mortgage. You redeem the mortgage by paying the lender what they are owed, typically by either selling the property on your own, or refinancing with a new lender. The typical redemption period is 6 months, but the court has discretion to increase or decrease it. It is important to retain a lawyer to assist you in responding to the court proceedings so you can ensure that you get at least 6 months to redeem the property.
  3. Court-Ordered Sale or Order Absolute: At the end of the redemption period, if the debt remains unpaid, the lender may proceed with a court-ordered sale of the property. Alternatively, they may apply for an Order Absolute, transferring the property into their name and extinguishing your interest. It is important to understand that the lender will list the property on an “As Is, Where Is” basis. This means the property will be listed for less than what you would get on a regular sale. Often, it is worth it for you to list the property and sell it yourself during the redemption period to avoid this.

How We Can Help:

Navigating foreclosure proceedings can be complex and overwhelming, but you don’t have to face it alone. Our team can provide guidance, assistance, and representation throughout the process. We offer expert advice on your rights and options, help communicate with the lender, negotiate terms, dispute the foreclosure, file court documents, and represent your interests in court hearings to protect your financial well-being.

We understand that in the midst of a foreclosure, money is often tight! We offer flexible options to help balance out the costs of retaining a lawyer. This include “unbundled services” where we provide you with information and advice, while allowing you to take on the tasks you are comfortable with to save costs.

To book a consultation, please reach out to our foreclosure team at or 604.853.0774.

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