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Final Step of the Foreclosure Process: Eviction

19th November 2009
By Nick Adama in Real Estate Law
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Many homeowners do not want to move out of their property, even after a foreclosure lawsuit, judgment, and sheriff sale. Despite having six months to a year to live mortgage free, some borrowers are just not financially able to move when required by the courts and the purchaser at the auction. In these cases, the lender, which usually buys the home at the sale, will begin the eviction process.

Few homeowners, though, know exactly what the eviction process entails after the foreclosure has been completed. Many of them simply believe that the court will have the home sold, and a few days later, the county sheriff will show up unannounced to throw all of the people and belongings out into the street, changing the locks in the process. However, this is not how the typical eviction goes.

If the borrowers are successful in their attempts to set aside the sale, then there will be no eviction at all. In the vast majority of cases, though, once the auction has been conducted, it will have to be confirmed. Upon the confirmation of the sale, the former owners become tenants, and their rights to keep possession of the home terminate. If there is a redemption period under state foreclosure law, this will have to be passed before eviction can proceed.

Homeowners still remaining in the property after the confirmation and redemption period will have an eviction action brought against them by the purchaser. The steps of this process are determined by state law, as with many other aspects of the entire foreclosure.

It is important for former homeowners to research how their state treats occupants remaining after a foreclosure. Some states use the same procedures that are used to evict tenants from rental properties. Others, though, have special treatment for people living in a foreclosed home.

In either case, though, the lender or purchaser at auction must follow the correct procedures to evict the former owners. If the new owner attempts to use an eviction process that is not appropriate for former owners of a foreclosed property, the action may be thrown out of court until the correct steps are followed.

There have been several court cases decided against lenders that attempted to bring the wrong type of action against former homeowners. If there is a specific state statute that requires foreclosure victims to be treated differently in eviction proceedings, then any other type of legal action brought against the former borrowers should be defended. This can buy valuable time for the former homeowners to save up more money or look for a new place to rent.

Unfortunately, there are not many actions that former owners can take to save their home when it is this late. Even if irregularities in the conduct of the sale or predatory lending or other issues are discovered, it is unlikely the borrowers will get their home back. While they may be able to obtain monetary damages, or delay the eviction by a month or two, once the process has gone to the eviction stage, it is almost inevitable that the home will be lost.
Nick publishes articles to give advice to borrowers who are the in the process of stopping foreclosure on their homes and learning how to recover their finances afterward. His other articles describe various solutions to foreclosure, including mortgage modification, obtaining a freclosure refinance, and even fighting a foreclosure complaint to get more time from the courts to work out a better solution. Visit his site today to read more about how foreclosure works and how you can stop it while you still have time:
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