If you are a tenant or owner caught in foreclosure, you are probably worried about getting evicted. Fortunately, eviction after foreclosure takes time, and you'll usually have plenty of warning about when you need to leave your home.
Once the lender forecloses on your home, you'll eventually be served with a notice to vacate, though you may have several months in your home before the bank actually tells you to move. One bonus to staying in your home is that, in some states, you have a chance to “redeem” your foreclosure by paying off your delinquent mortgage debt and fees to get your house back. Incidentally, your bank cannot actually physically evict you from your home. If you refuse to leave when the bank tells you to, the bank has to go to court to have you legally evicted. (See Reference 4.)
Under the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009, foreclosure no longer terminates leases; if you have a long-term lease, you can stay in your home until it expires, unless a new owner wants to move into your home. If that's the case, you have 90 days before your lease terminates. If you are a month-to-month tenant, the bank or new owner must give you 90 days notice before beginning eviction proceedings against you. Incidentally, if state law gives you more time in your home, that law prevails. (See Reference 1, 2 and 3.)
Staying in Your Home
If you owned your home prior to foreclosure, ask your lender or the new owner if you can rent the place. This lets you stay in your home while you look for new housing and protects the property from the potential damage that results from abandonment. If you are a renter who wants to remain in your home, be sure that you continue to make your rent payments to the bank, or, if the property is already sold, to the new owner. Introduce yourself to the new owner and explain that you are happy in your home and would like to stay there. The new owner may be grateful to have a proactive, friendly tenant in the building and permit you to stay. (See Reference 4.)
While you may technically have the right to remain in your home until a judge evicts you, doing so isn't a good idea. Evictions are a matter of public record, and tenant-screening companies regularly search these records and include them in tenant-screening reports. Landlords are extremely wary about renting to people who have an eviction on their tenant record. Once you get a written notice to leave, it is a good idea to move.
Lainie Petersen writes about business, real estate and personal finance, drawing on 25 years experience in publishing and education. Petersen's work appears in Money Crashers, Selling to the Masses, and in Walmart News Now, a blog for Walmart suppliers. She holds a master's degree in library science from Dominican University.