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When a house is sold at foreclosure auction when is ownership officially transferred? When do I cancel insurance on the house?

Waukegan, IL |

We owned two houses at a foreclosure auction, one was sold to a high bidder the other received no bids and was taken by the lender (a sale too I guess). Now the buyer for one house and the lender for the other house must get a Sale Verification from a court at a Confirmation Hearing which issues an Order Approving Sale is that correct? After the Confirmation Hearing, the sheriff issues a Sheriff's Deed and then the deed is recorded. I would like to know at which point does ownership actually transfer - date of the auction, date of Order Approving Sale, date of the Sheriff's Deed or date deed is actually recorded. I found most of this info on the Lake County Sheriff's website. Basically, at what point am I no longer legal owner?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Date of Order Approving Sale

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Posted

I agree techincally but now we're talking insurance....and there are special rights to redeem even after a sale is confirmed unless you waive them...so until all those rights have expired, you may still retain an insurable interest in the property. Better to let it go a bit (the lender bid situation and third party sale have different consequences) while keeping your agent advised and then ask for an unearned premium refund retroactively, than be caught with a coverage gap.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is currently licensed to practice law actively only in the State of Illinois, inactively in Florida. Responses are based solely on Illinois law unless stated otherwise.

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You have done your research. Good for you. Here is a basic time line: you generally have a right to possession of your home throughout the right of redemption, which the longer of seven months from the date when you were served with the foreclosure summons and complaint or three months after the entry of judgment. You should maintain homeowners insurance during the redemption period. If something were to happen to your home during the redemption period you most likely have the first priority right to the insurance proceeds. Most often, the property is sold very soon after your redemption period expires, after that date you have 30 more days to remain in the property prior to the court date for order approving sale and distribution of proceeds. Throughout that 30 day period following sale it is wise to maintain insurance (although the purchaser is also advised to obtain his own insurance) because remain in possession of the home and have what’s called a “special right to redeem.” Arguably, while you maintain possession of the home you are in a position to experience a gain or loss from damage to the property. As the other contributor noted, this standard is important to your right to benefit from insurance and be entitled to the insurance proceeds if the property is damaged. The case law is complicated in this regard, but if you can, keep paying homeowners insurance throughout the time that you remain in possession of the home just in case.

To answer the last part of your question, you are officially no longer the owner at the entry of the order approving sale and distribution of proceeds, at which point the holder of the certificate of sale obtains a judicial deed to your property.

The information in this answer is not intended as legal advice nor to I intend to create an attorney-client relationship with any party by answering this question or contributing as a member of AVVO.

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