After writing Foreclosures are an Elusive Prey last month I had a call from a prospective investor who wanted to learn more about the foreclosure process. Each state has different rules for the process and in talking to three different lenders it was obvious that their processes for getting homes to the courthouse steps are slightly different as well. Since I am not a lawyer or an expert on foreclosures I went looking for information and found the United States Foreclosure Law site. This information is specific to Virginia. If you are outside Virginia you will want to go to the site and look up your state for specific information.
The judicial process of foreclosure, which involves filing a lawsuit to obtain a court order to foreclose, is used when no power of sale is present in the mortgage or deed of trust. Generally, after the court declares a foreclosure, the property will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
The borrower has two hundred forty (240) days from the date of the sale to redeem the property by paying the amount for which the property was sold, plus six (6) percent interest.
The non-judicial process of foreclosure is used when a power of sale clause exists in a mortgage or deed of trust. A “power of sale” clause is the clause in a deed of trust or mortgage, in which the borrower pre-authorizes the sale of property to pay off the balance on a loan in the event of the their default. In deeds of trust or mortgages where a power of sale exists, the power given to the lender to sell the property may be executed by the lender or their representative, typically referred to as the trustee. Regulations for this type of foreclosure process are outlined on the next page in the “Power of Sale Foreclosure Guidelines”.
Power of Sale Foreclosure Guidelines
If the deed of trust or mortgage contains a power of sale clause and specifies the time, place and terms of sale, then the specified procedure must be followed. However, additional requirements must be met, as outlined below in section one (1).
Even when the deed of trust makes allowances for advertising the foreclosure sale, Virginia Statutes require ads to be published no less than once a day for three days, which may be consecutive days. These requirements are in addition to the advertising terms stipulated in the deed of trust. If the deed of trust does not provide for advertising, then the ad shall be run once a week for four successive weeks. However, near a city, an ad on five different days, which may be consecutive, will be sufficient.
A copy of the advertisement or a notice with the same information must be mailed to the borrower at least 14 days before the foreclosure sale.
The foreclosure sale ad must include anything required by the deed of trust and may include a legal description of the property, a street address and a tax map identification or general information about the property’s location. The notice must include the time, place and terms of sale. It must give the name of the trustee and the address and phone number of a person who will be able to respond to inquiries about the foreclosure sale.
Any time before the sale, the borrower may cure the default and stop the sale by paying the lien debt, costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.
The sale, which may be held no earlier than eight (8) days after the first ad is published and no more than thirty (30) days after the last advertisement is published, is to be made at auction to the highest bidder. Any person other than the trustee may bid at the foreclosure sale, including a person who has submitted a written one-price bid. Written one-price bids may be made and shall be received by the trustee for entry by announcement of the trustee at the sale. Any bidder in attendance may inspect written bids. Additionally, the trustee may require bidders to place a cash deposit of up to ten (10) percent of the sale price, unless the dead of trust specifies a higher or lower amount.
In the event of postponement of sale, which may be done at the discretion of the trustee, advertisement of such postponed sale shall be in the same manner as the original advertisement of sale.
Once the sale is complete, the proceeds will go to: 1) the expenses of executing the trust; 2) to discharge all taxes, levies, and assessments, with costs and interest if they have priority over the lien of the deed of trust; 3) to discharge in the order of their priority, if any, the remaining debts and obligations secured by the deed, and any liens of record inferior to the deed of trust under which sale is made; 4) any remaining proceeds go to the borrower.