Foreclosure And Ejectment Lawyers
Cook and Associates offer assistance with foreclosures and ejectments in the entire central Alabama and River Region. If you need an attorney to assist you with a foreclosure or ejectment, you can rest assured that Cook and Associates has experienced professionals ready to guide you through the foreclosure process from start to finish.
If you have purchased a property that was in foreclosure at an auction, you may have to file a lawsuit in ejectment to remove the former owner from the premises. Also, now in many counties in Alabama, purchasers of properties at tax sales must file foreclosure actions against the former owners in order to gain clean title to the foreclosed properties.
Here Are The Most Important Things to be Aware of When Dealing With Any Interest in Foreclosed Properties:
Actual Notice. It is very important that a lender or lienholder who is foreclosing on a property gives the proper notice to all recorded parties in interest to the property. In Alabama, the statutory notice requirements includes publication in a local newspaper.
But Alabama case law requires more than just newspaper publication, based on constitutional rights. This requirement is not recorded in any statute that is easy to find and follow. If you are a foreclosing party, or a party acquiring an interest in real property after foreclosure or at a foreclosure auction, make sure all of the proper notice requirements were followed before you risk losing time and money on a bad investment.
Published Notice. Notice must be published in a newspaper of general circulation for at least three weeks before the date of sale.
Auction. The auction must take place on the courthouse steps in the county where the property is located, during the hours prescribed by law (11AM to 4PM). Note that in order for this to happen without a court order, the mortgage note must contain language that gives the mortgagee a “power of sale”. Otherwise, the lienholder must apply to the Circuit Court for an Order allowing the sale. Some lenders skip this step, but that is a mistake that makes a foreclosure avoidable.
Notice to Vacate. After the foreclosure is accomplished at sale, the party who purchased the property should send any occupants remaining on the property a ten day notice to vacate. In Alabama, if the occupants receive this ten day notice and fail to vacate, then the foreclosed parties lose their right of redemption.
Rights of redemption in Alabama last for one year after foreclosure if the mortgage was taken out before January 1, 2016. For mortgages taken after January 1, 2016, the redemption period is only 180 days. Borrowers who vacate the property promptly should make sure to send certified, written notice to the foreclosing lender or lender’s attorney so as not to lose the right of redemption.
Ejectment. If the new owner of the property sends the 10 day notice and the borrower refuses to vacate, then an ejectment lawsuit should be filed to remove the occupants from the property. The occupants should be served at the property with the Complaint, preferably by sheriff. The ejectment lawsuit has its own set of required procedure, and it is best to consult an experienced ejectment attorney to accomplish obtaining possession.
Demand for verification or statement of lawful charges. If a borrower sends notice to the lender that he or she demands a full accounting of charges being claimed for calculating a redemption price, the lender should timely respond with a correct calculation.
Bankruptcy. If a borrower files a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the lender must file the appropriate documents with the bankruptcy court in order to proceed with foreclosure. If a lender fails to honor the automatic stay, it can be held liable for damages to the borrower.
Only past due mortgage payments can be included in the bankruptcy, The lender will still usually be successful in obtaining a foreclosure, but this will make the process more lengthy and costly. Sometimes it’s best for the lender to try and reach a modification agreement with the borrower, attempt to obtain a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure, or allow the borrower to attempt a short sale, instead of foreclosing.
Tax liens. Although a foreclosure wipes out most junior liens, such as a judgment debt, tax liens are generally “super-priority” liens and will have to be paid by any foreclosure purchaser in order to clear title.
Tax Sale Counties. As of September 30, 2019, some counties in the State of Alabama require tax sale purchasers to file foreclosure actions against the assessed. These counties are Calhoun, Cullman, Shelby, Baldwin, and Elmore. Tax sales are complicated matters and if you are a tax sale investor or you have lost your property to tax sale, you should seek the help of an experienced attorney.
Here to Counsel & Serve You
At Cook and Associates, we have experienced professionals who will be happy to help you with any of your foreclosure, ejectment, or tax sale legal issues. Call us today for a consultation at 334-356-7879.
No representation is made that the quality of legal services performed is greater than the quality of services performed by other attorneys.