Required information in a foreclosure letter varies by state, according to Nolo. In a judicial foreclosure state, where foreclosures go through courts, information includes notification that foreclosure proceedings are underway and the timeline for response. In a nonjudicial foreclosure state, letters explain the date of the property sale.
Nonjudicial foreclosure states generally take one of several approaches, explains Nolo. One is a letter of default, explaining that the homeowner has the opportunity to make up his back payments by a certain deadline. After the deadline passes on a homeowner who did not catch up on his payments, he gets a notice of sale. Another approach combines the two steps, stating in one letter that a homeowner can make payments to avoid foreclosure, but that if he does not, the property is set to be sold on a specific date. A third approach is a letter that explains the property is to be sold on a specific date unless the entire mortgage is paid off.
In judicial foreclosure states, a homeowner usually gets a warning of at least 10 to 30 days that his lender is to file for foreclosure proceedings, explains Nolo. If the homeowner contests the foreclosure, a judge may take at least several months before giving the lender permission to foreclose.