Guide to Foreclosure Laws and Procedures By State

Learn about the foreclosure laws in your state

authorWritten by David Teng and author Reviewed by Peter RanckMay 7, 2024

Buying a foreclosure home is perhaps not as straightforward as a home from the MLS, but every year investors and home owners who think outside the box use our foreclosure listings to find property gems that could otherwise be overlooked.

Now, depending on where you live in the country, the foreclosure process – the steps a property goes through before it is officially foreclosure – varies from state to state, influenced primarily by whether the state utilizes mortgages or deeds of trust for real property transactions.

In general, states that rely on mortgages typically conduct judicial foreclosures, which involve court proceedings. Conversely, states that use deeds of trust often carry out non-judicial foreclosures, which do not require court intervention. This fundamental difference—court involvement in judicial foreclosures—marks a significant procedural divergence between the two systems.

Let’s take a look two specific foreclosure types: judicial vs non-judicial.

Judicial vs. Non-Judicial Foreclosures: A Detailed Look

  • Judicial Foreclosure: This process is initiated through the court system when a lender files a lawsuit against the borrower who has defaulted on a mortgage. The process can be lengthy and involves several steps, including legal filings, notifications, hearings, and, potentially, a public auction. Judicial foreclosures provide homeowners with a legal avenue to contest the foreclosure.
  • Non-Judicial Foreclosure: In contrast, non-judicial foreclosures are executed outside of the court system, based on the power-of-sale clause in the deed of trust. This process is generally faster and less costly than judicial foreclosures. It involves the lender or a trustee taking steps to sell the property without court oversight but with specific notice requirements and waiting periods.

State-Specific Foreclosure Laws and Timelines

Each state in the U.S. has its own set of laws and regulations governing foreclosures. These laws define the procedures, notice requirements, redemption periods, and other critical aspects of the foreclosure process.

The timelines for foreclosure can vary significantly from one state to another, influenced by factors such as whether the foreclosure is judicial or non-judicial, state-specific legal requirements, and the efficiency of the court system in judicial foreclosures.

State Foreclosure Laws and Timelines

Our table below provides a snapshot of foreclosure processes across different states, categorizing them into judicial, non-judicial, or states that employ both methods.

Alongside this classification, the table offers estimated foreclosure timelines for each state, giving readers a quick reference to understand how long the process might take in different regions. We encourage users to consult their local county government for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding foreclosure laws in their specific area.

For a deeper dive into the foreclosure laws of a specific state, our one-page chart offers an easy comparison of foreclosure timelines across the nation.

By clicking on any state name, you can access detailed information about the foreclosure procedures unique to that state, including any special requirements or noteworthy aspects of the process.

State Judicial Non-Judicial Comment Process Period** Publish Sale** Redemption Period** Sale/NTS
Alabama Judicial rarely 49-74 21 365 Trustee
Alaska Judicial rarely 105 65 365* Trustee
Arizona Judicial rarely 90+ 41 30-180* Trustee
Arkansas Both 70 30 365* Trustee
California Judicial rarely 117 21 365* Trustee
Colorado Judicial rarely 145 60 None Trustee
Connecticut   Judicial only 62 NA Court Decides Court
Delaware   Judicial only 170-210 60-90 None Sheriff
Florida   Judicial only 135 NA None Court
Georgia Judicial rarely 37 32 None Trustee
Hawaii Both 220 60 None Trustee
Idaho Trustee Sale 150 45 365 Trustee
Illinois   Judicial only 300 NA 90 Court
Indiana   Judicial only 261 120 None Sheriff
Iowa Trustee Sale Voluntary 160 30 20 Sheriff
Kansas   Judicial only 130 21 365 Sheriff
Kentucky   Judicial only 147 NA 365 Court
Louisiana   Judicial only 180 NA None Sheriff
Maine   Judicial only 240 30 90 Court
Maryland   Judicial only 46 30 Court Decides Court
Massachusetts   Judicial only 75 41 None Court
Michigan   Non-Judicial only 60 30 30-365 Sheriff
Minnesota Non-Judicial mostly 90-100 7 180 Sheriff
Mississippi Non-Judicial mostly 90 30 None Trustee
Missouri Non-Judicial mostly 60 10 365 Trustee
Montana Trustee Sale mostly 150 50 None Trustee
Nebraska   Judicial only 142 NA None Sheriff
Nevada Trustee Sale mostly 116 80 None Trustee
New Hampshire   Non-Judicial only 59 24 None Trustee
New Jersey   Judicial only 270 NA 10 Sheriff
New Mexico   Judicial only 180 NA 30-270 Court
New York   Judicial only 445 NA None Court
North Carolina Non-Judicial mostly 110 25 None Sheriff
North Dakota   Judicial only 150 NA 180-365 Sheriff
Ohio   Judicial only 217 NA None Sheriff
Oklahoma Judicial mostly 186 NA None Sheriff
Oregon Trustee Sale mostly 150 30 180 Trustee
Pennsylvania   Judicial only 270 NA None Sheriff
Rhode Island  Non-judicial mostly 62 21 None Trustee
South Carolina   Judicial only 150 NA None Court
South Dakota Judicial mostly 150 23 30-365 Sheriff
Tennessee    Non-judicial only 40-45 20-25 730 Trustee
Texas  Non-Judicial mostly 27 NA None Trustee
Utah   Non-Judicial Only 142 NA Court Decides Trustee
Vermont   Judicial only 95 NA 180-365 Court
Virginia Trustee Sale mostly 45 14-28 None Trustee
Washington Trustee Sale mostly 135 90 None Trustee
Washington D.C.   Trustee Sale only 47 18 None Trustee
West Virginia   Trustee Sale only 60-90 30-60 None Trustee
Wisconsin Judicial mostly 290 NA 365 Sheriff
Wyoming Non-judicial mostly 60 25 90-365 Sheriff

* Judicial Foreclosures Only
** In days

Further Reading

Below is a collection of articles to get you stared with securing your next real estate investment.

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