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The Foreclosure Process

Foreclosure is the act of your lender repossessing your home for your failure to fulfill your mortgage obligations. If you do not take steps to prevent foreclosure, you will lose your home.

In New Hampshire the foreclosure sale of your property may happen very quickly. New Hampshire is a power-of-sale foreclosure state. This means that your lender does not need to take you to court in order to foreclose. Instead, your lender will sell your home at a foreclosure sale, using the proceeds of the sale to pay off your loan.

The foreclosure timeline from the homeowner’s perspective

A mortgage is a legal contract between you and your lender. When you are unable to make your payments, you are in breach of that contract and the lender will begin to take actions to recover their investment. Their rights to protect their interests are detailed in the mortgage document. Below is a simple chart outlining an average foreclosure time frame in New Hampshire. You can click on the chart to view a larger printable version.

The foreclosure timeline from a legal perspective

Typically, your lender will send you a letter giving you 30 days to “cure,” which means to bring your loan up to date. If you fail to cure, your lender will accelerate your mortgage obligations, which means that your entire balance becomes due. To complete the foreclosure sale, your lender must take the following steps per NH RSA 479:

  • At least 25 days before the scheduled foreclosure sale, the lender must send you a notice of the scheduled foreclosure sale.
  • At least 20 days before the scheduled foreclosure sale, the lender must publish a notice of the sale in a newspaper in circulation in your town or county. The notice must be published once a week for three weeks in a row.
  • The lender must conduct a foreclosure sale at your home, or another location if specified in your mortgage.  The lender can not forced to leave your home on the day of the auction and you do not have to let anyone into your home.
  • A third party, or the lender itself, may purchase your home at the foreclosure sale.  Once a foreclosure deed is recorded by the new owner, you are no longer the owner of the property and should start considering other housing options.