Winston Salem, NC asked in Real Estate Law for North Carolina

Q: Name is on deed, not loan. House in foreclosure. Husband gone, will bank notify me before padlocking belongings?

Refinanced in 2009, I couldn't be present for signing. I signed release allowing husband full control. He consolidated debt he'd acquired into mortgage and my name was removed from loan. Due to consolidation increasing mortgage payment, when he left 7 months ago I was unable to make the payments. House went into foreclosure 3 months ago. Bank can not communicate w/me concerning the foreclosure w/out husband's consent which he will not give. Am I a "tenant"? Do I get served w/warning of any type prior to house and belongings being padlocked? Will I get a window of 30 days? 90 days? This has caused me to cancel a scheduled surgery making the packing and moving difficult. No answers= No sleep. Can you help?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Rachel Lea Hunter
Rachel Lea Hunter
Answered
  • Cary, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Is your name still on the deed to the house (you indicate yes)? If so, then you have to be given notice if any foreclosure complaint is filed and of any sale. You will have up to 10 days after the sale becomes final to leave once the new owner acquires the property.

Usually, foreclosure complaints may be filed after 4 months. You are not a tenant and not entitled to protections under the Protecting Tenants Under Foreclosure Act passed by Congress. You are a co-owner, not a tenant and you do not have a lease.

Once the foreclosure complaint is filed, you and your husband would have 30 days to file an answer if you had a mind to do so. If not and if the foreclosure is deemed proper, a sale would be scheduled in another 60 days after the foreclosure hearing. Then, assuming there are no upset bids, then the bank usually buys at a foreclosure sale. The bank or new owner may want you out and will have to give you notice. Maybe you can make a deal with the bank that you will pay rent if you can stay in the house and you will leave it in good condition until they get a buyer. There are no guarantees and the bank may want you out. Some banks have "cash for keys" programs (ask!) and will pay you money if you leave the home voluntarily and in good condition.

Get some sleep and get your surgery scheduled. You have at least 90-100 days after a foreclosure complaint is filed. Where else can you live rent free? Stay in the house as long as you can and save your money and leave when it is good for you but don't wait until after the sale and the new owner tells you to get out. You will have 10 days once the new owner (be it a bank or a new owner) and after that you will be on borrowed time as the sheriff can come and forcibly evict you and padlock the property.

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