What are Your Redemption Rights in Foreclosure?

by : Dave Dinkel

Redemption rights in foreclosure actually only come after the homeowner's property is lost through a foreclosure sale or action. Once the home has been lost, some states allow the homeowner the right to "reclaim" his home for varying periods.

Because of the power the banks have for foreclosing, some states decided that that homeowners should likewise have the right to reclaim their home if their personal circumstances turnaround within a given time period. The homeowner will have to petition the court for a hearing to get his home back and show "proof of funds" that he is able to repurchase his home for what is owed plus all the associated costs of the foreclosure.

Proof of funds can are either cash in the bank or a pre-approved letter from another lender that is willing to fund his buying back his home. The new lender does not have to be a bank but can be a "hard money lender" who will charge the homeowner a much higher interest rate and closing points and will only carry the loan for usually one year. These hard money lenders are called "predatory lenders" in the industry because they are looking to loan amounts that can easily be gotten back if the property is foreclosed on and sold at auction.

The homeowner who lives in one of the states that has long redemption periods, can solicit local hard money lenders or real estate investors to exercise his redemptive right if there is equity in the home that can be retrieved by fixing the property and selling it in the retail market. These are called Equity Agreements and are common in the real estate business. Equity Agreements stipulate who gets how much of the proceeds from the sale, who pays what expenses and who will be dong the work. Remember, if it isn't in writing in the Agreement, it isn't going to happen. If you have a question, ask an attorney before you sign anything.

Here are the states that have no redemption period: Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas. While these sates have no redemption privileges, it is possible to bring legal action against the bank with regard to deficiencies in the proceeding and mortgage irregularities.

States that have one year redemptive rights include: Alabama, Idaho (either 6 or 12 months), Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, North Dakota (6 or 12 months), and Wisconsin (possibly to 12 months).

The other states vary greatly because of specific terms in the mortgage or deed of trust contracts but range from 10 days to 240 days. It is imperative that you consult with someone who is familiar with your local foreclosure laws because they vary greatly from state to state, and the sale or auction practices vary from county to county.