Foreclosure Process Overview
Connecticut is strictly a judicial foreclosure state. Depending on the circumstances of a particular case, the judge presiding over the foreclosure proceeding has the option to grant either a “strict foreclosure” or a “foreclosure by sale.”
A new law now requires a 60-day demand letter be sent prior to the filing of the foreclosure action, after which time the foreclosure proceeding can commence, typically running 3-4 months through completion. Connecticut does not allow for non-judicial foreclosures.
Process Begins With a Civil Suit
The judicial foreclosure process in Connecticut is commenced by filing a civil action with the Superior Court known as a Lis Pendens (LIS). At the end of the action, the Lender will file a motion for a judgment of foreclosure and the Judge will either grant a “strict foreclosure” or a “foreclosure by sale”.
If a strict foreclosure is granted, no actual foreclosure sale is held. During the foreclosure proceedings the court has determined that there is no equity in the property and rather than holding a foreclosure sale, the court assigns what are known as “law days” in reverse order of priority, allowing parties with an interest in the property to redeem it. If no party redeems the property on their law day, title of the property will vest free and clear in the lender.
The lender then has 30 days to record a certificate of foreclosure, which must contain a description of the property, the foreclosure proceedings, the mortgage and the date the title became absolute.
The Court Orders the Property Sold
If the court determines that there is enough equity in the property, the judge will order a foreclosure by sale. The court establishes the time and manner of the sale and assigns a “committee attorney” to handle all aspects of the foreclosure sale. This is not the same attorney who commenced the foreclosure action.
The borrower may stop the foreclosure proceedings at any time before the sale by paying the balance due on the mortgage. If no such payment is made, the committee will go forward with the sale. After the sale is conducted, the committee attorney must petition the court to “approve” the sale so that title may vest in the successful bidder.
Despite the sale of the property, Connecticut does allow the lender to sue the borrower to obtain a deficiency judgment.
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