Foreclosure vs Preforeclosure

In this blog post, we will discuss the differences and similarities between foreclosures vs preforeclosures. Knowing the difference and your options as a homeowner will be essential depending on how far behind you are in payments.

Being in foreclosure is stressful and not something a homeowner wants to deal with. It’s critically important to know you have options. If you need to sell your house fast – we can help you avoid foreclosure.

What is foreclosure?

Foreclosure and preforeclosure are two terms that are often used interchangeably when discussing the process of a homeowner defaulting on their mortgage. However, there are significant differences between the two terms that homeowners and prospective buyers should be aware of.

What is preforeclosure

Preforeclosure is when a homeowner falls behind on their mortgage payments and when the property is sold at a foreclosure auction. During this time, the homeowner may receive notices from their lender about the missed payments and potential foreclosure. They may be able to work out a repayment plan or sell the property to avoid foreclosure. Homeowners in preforeclosure may also be eligible for loan modifications or other assistance programs that can help them keep their homes.

On the other hand, foreclosure is the legal process by which a lender takes possession of a property when a homeowner cannot make their mortgage payments. Once a property has been foreclosed upon, it is typically sold at auction or repossessed by the lender, and the former homeowner loses all rights to the property.

One of the critical differences between preforeclosure and foreclosure is the timeframe involved. Preforeclosure can last several months or even years, while foreclosure can be completed relatively quickly once it begins. This means that homeowners in preforeclosure have more time to explore their options and potentially avoid losing their homes, while those in foreclosure may have fewer options.

Another essential difference between the two terms is the impact on the homeowner’s credit score. Falling behind on mortgage payments and entering preforeclosure can have a negative impact on a homeowner’s credit score, but the impact is typically less severe than that of a foreclosure. Once a property has been foreclosed upon, the homeowner’s credit score can be significantly impacted, making it more difficult to obtain credit or purchase a home.

What are the effects of a foreclosure vs preforeclosure on your credit?

A credit score is a numerical representation of a person’s creditworthiness, calculated based on their credit history and financial behavior. Credit scores range from 300 to 850, with higher scores indicating better creditworthiness. When homeowners enter foreclosure, their credit score will likely take a significant hit.

The exact impact of a foreclosure on a credit score can vary depending on the homeowner’s circumstances and credit history. However, foreclosure is generally considered a major derogatory event and can remain on a homeowner’s credit report for up to seven years.

According to FICO, one of the most widely used credit scoring models, foreclosure can result in a credit score drop of up to 300 points. This can be a significant blow to a homeowner’s creditworthiness, potentially making it more difficult to obtain credit or loans in the future and resulting in higher interest rates and less favorable terms.

The impact of a foreclosure on a credit score can also depend on other factors, such as whether the homeowner had other delinquent accounts, the amount of outstanding debt, and the length of credit history. Additionally, the time since the foreclosure occurred can also impact the severity of the credit score drop.

It’s important to note that while a foreclosure can significantly impact a homeowner’s credit score, it is not the end of the road. Homeowners who have experienced foreclosure can take steps to rebuild their credit over time. This can include making on-time payments, keeping credit balances low, and establishing new lines of credit.

Additionally, homeowners struggling to make mortgage payments may be able to avoid foreclosure and protect their credit score by working with their lender to explore alternatives, such as loan modifications, repayment plans, or selling the property.


In conclusion, while foreclosure vs preforeclosure are often used interchangeably, they are two distinct terms with significant differences. Homeowners who find themselves falling behind on mortgage payments should be aware of the differences between the two terms and explore all of their options, including loan modifications, repayment plans, or selling the property, in order to avoid foreclosure and protect their credit score.

Contact us today to learn more about your home-selling options to avoid foreclosure.

β€œAlex is excellent to work with. He is always looking to add value and find the win-win situations, no matter what.Β Super responsive and someone that is always willing to help as well.”

– Mitch H.

For the last 9 years, Alex has been an investor, marketer, and business owner in the Pacific Northwest. He loves educating homeowners on their options when selling their homes. He especially enjoys discussing creative ways to sell houses or recommending the right solutions. When not talking business you can find him golfing or enjoying the outdoors with his family.

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