Foreclosure Process Overview
Montana foreclosures are conducted either in court or out of court, depending on the existence of a power-of-sale clause in the mortgage or deed of trust. The total foreclosure process typically takes about 5-6 months.
||Trustee Sale mostly
In the case of an in-court foreclosure, the court decides the appropriate amount due to the lender and gives the borrower a certain amount of time to pay the debt. If the borrower does not pay the debt, the lender issues a notice of foreclosure sale.
An out-of-court foreclosure, which is most common in Montana, occurs when the terms of the mortgage or deed of trust allow the lender to sell the property if the borrower defaults. The lender starts the foreclosure process by filing a notice of sale with the county recorder. The sale must be at least 120 days after this notice is filed, but the lender is not required to mail a default notice to the borrower before filing the notice of sale unless the mortgage or deed of trust requires that.
At any time before the foreclosure sale, the borrower may satisfy the debt by paying the full default amount plus costs and attorneys’ fees incurred. This stops foreclosure proceedings.
Notice of Sale / Auction
For out-of-court foreclosures, a copy of the notice of sale is posted at the property in an obvious spot at least 20 days before the sale. Additionally, notice of sale is mailed to the borrower at least 120 days prior to the sale and must be published once a week for three consecutive weeks in a local newspaper.
Foreclosure sales in Montana are by public auction, with the property going to the highest bidder. The auction is between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the sale date at the county courthouse. The winning bidder receives a deed transferring ownership and can take possession of the property after 10 days.
The borrower has no rights of redemption and the lender may not obtain a deficiency judgment against the borrower.
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