Virginia Foreclosure Laws

Foreclosure Process Overview

Virginia law permits both in-court and out-of-court foreclosures, which are more often used. The typical out-of-court foreclosure in Virginia takes less than two months.

Judicial Non Judicial Comment Process Period Publish Sale Redemption Period Sale/NTS
Trustee Sale mostly 45 days 14-28 days None Trustee

Pre-foreclosure Period

The in-court foreclosure process, although rarely used, begins when the lender files a court document starting the foreclosure process. A court order can be issued which specifies the terms and conditions of the sale. After the court declares a foreclosure, the property will be auctioned, according to the terms set by the court.

The more common foreclosure process is used when the mortgage or deed of trust allows the lender to sell the property without going through the courts. The lender initiates this type of foreclosure by scheduling a foreclosure sale. Before doing this, the lender sends a notice of default to the borrower, giving them 30 days to pay off the default and prevent foreclosure.

Notice of Sale / Auction

Once the lender schedules the foreclosure sale, they must properly advertise the sale and notify the parties involved. In Virginia, the Notice of Sale publication dates vary based on the requirements of the deed of trust or state statute.

The newspaper where the notice of sale is published must be approved by court order certifying it has sufficient circulation within the county or city. The notice must include a legal description of the property, the terms of the sale, and the location, date, and time of the sale. Borrowers must receive at least 14 days notice before the foreclosure sale.

The trustee typically conducts the sale at the local courthouse between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The trustee announces the opening bid at the sale and may accept higher bids, with the property selling to the highest bidder. If no one bids, the foreclosing lender will win the bidding with the opening bid. The trustee completes the necessary documents to transfer ownership of the property to the highest bidder. The sale can’t be postponed, but it may be canceled, in which case the trustee would need to start the foreclosure process at the beginning to schedule a new sale.

In general, once the sale is final the borrower cannot redeem the property, but the lender may cancel the sale if the borrower is able to pay off what is owed.

A lender may pursue a borrower for a deficiency judgment if the highest bid does not pay off the total amount due plus applicable expenses.

More Resources

Learn how to prevent a home foreclosure
Get help stopping a home foreclosure
Search foreclosures in Virginia
Learn how to buy foreclosures