1. Do Not Ignore Your Mail
As part of the foreclosure process, you will receive letters. Some will be from the mortgage company and others will be from the attorney conducting the foreclosure. Do not ignore these letters. These letters will give you a chance to cure the default, i.e., catch the mortgage up, advise you of your rights if you are a tenant or a soldier, tell you that the mortgage debt has been accelerated, and give you notice of the date of the foreclosure sale. These letters will usually be mailed to the address of the property that is encumbered by the mortgage. They may be mailed regular mail or certified mail, depending on the terms of the mortgage.
2. Do Not Wait To Act
The letters I reference above contain dates by which you must act to preserve your rights. Call the mortgage company, foreclosure attorney, or speak with an attorney to protect your rights. For example, the notice of default will usually give you thirty days to catch your mortgage up. This could be your last, best chance to catch your mortgage up. If you wait until after these time period expire, you may not get another chance.
3. Bankruptcy Can Help
Do not hesitate to contact an attorney who handles consumer bankruptcies. Most bankruptcy attorneys are very knowledgeable and skilled in resolving the issues that occur during foreclosure. If you are willing to file bankruptcy, you will be given a chance to catch up the past due amount on your mortgage.
If the foreclosure sale happens, title is transferred to the foreclosure sale purchaser. The former borrower no longer owns the land, but they do have what is called the "right of redemption." That means during the year following the foreclosure sale, the former borrower can redeem their property from the sale by paying an amount set by law - usually the purchase price paid at the foreclosure sale / balance of the debt, interest, taxes and insurance, and possibly the value of improvements made to the property. However, if you receive a letter from the foreclosure sale purchaser demanding possession, you have to vacate the property within ten days or you lose the right to redeem. Also, redemption is a tricky process with lots of hoops to jump through. I highly recommend hiring an attorney experienced in redemption if that is the route you choose.
5. Alabama is a Non-Judicial Foreclosure State
Foreclosures in Alabama are usually non-judicial. That means you will not go to court. The sale will typically occur on the courthouse steps in the county in which the property is located. No judge will be involved.
This guide is for general informational purposes only. This guide does not create any attorney-client relationship between attorney Joshua B. White and/or any of the Stephens Millirons affiliated law offices. The Alabama Bar requires the following: No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater that the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.