I live in Minnesota and my house is in foreclosure. I’d like to catch up on my payments and save my house, but I’m running out of time. Is there any way for me to postpone the foreclosure sale?
Yes. Minnesota law permits you to delay the foreclosure sale, but you’ll have to agree to a reduced redemption period.
What is the redemption period? In Minnesota, foreclosed homeowners get a limited amount of time to repurchase or “redeem” the home after a foreclosure sale. This is called a redemption period. Learn more about the redemption period after a Minnesota foreclosure.
Postponing the sale may give you enough time to bring the mortgage loan current and stop the foreclosure. You could also use the time to explore an alternative to foreclosure, such as a mortgage modification.
How Long You'll Get Depends on the Original Redemption Period
Exactly how long of a postponement you’ll get depends on your original redemption period. You’ll get either:
- a five-month postponement, if your redemption period was six months, or
- an 11-month postponement, if your redemption period was 12 months.
The new sale date will be the first day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday that is five or 11 months after the original sale date.
Reduced Redemption Period
If you postpone the foreclosure sale, the trade-off is that your redemption period is reduced to just five weeks.
To be eligible for a foreclosure postponement, you and your property must meet the following criteria.
- You must occupy the property as your homestead. (Generally, a home that is owner-occupied by a Minnesota resident is considered a homestead.)
- The dwelling cannot have more than four units.
How to Postpone the Sale
To postpone the foreclosure sale, you must do the following.
- Execute a sworn affidavit. (To find a blank form of the affidavit that you’ll need to sign and get notarized, go to Minn. Rev. Stat. § 580.07 and use the “Affidavit form.” You can find instructions on how to locate this statute below).
- Record the affidavit in the county recorder’s office. (You will probably have to pay a recording fee.)
- File a copy of the recorded affidavit with the sheriff who is conducting the sale. The filed copy must show the recording date and the office in which you recorded the affidavit. (There may be a filing fee for this as well.)
- Deliver a copy of the recorded affidavit to the foreclosing lender’s attorney. The copy must show the recording date and the office in which you recorded the affidavit.
When You Can Get a Postponement
You must complete all of the above steps between:
- the date when the notice of mortgage foreclosure sale is first published, and
- at least 15 days before the scheduled sale date. (To learn more about foreclosure laws and procedures in Minnesota, visit Nolo’s Minnesota Foreclosure Law Center.)
You can only postpone the sale once, regardless of whether you reinstate the mortgage (by catching up on the past-due payments) before the postponed foreclosure sale.
The Bottom Line
Whether getting a postponement is a good idea depends on your ultimate goal.
You want to save your home. Ultimately, if you think you can catch up on your past-due payments, but you just need a little more time to do so, getting a postponement is probably a good idea. It's also a good idea if you want to try to get a loan modification or need time to work out another alternative to foreclosure.
You don't plan to keep the home. However, if you’re just trying to buy some extra time in your home, postponing the sale won’t really help you since the redemption period is shortened to five weeks. In Minnesota, you have the right to live in the home during the redemption period -- if you gain the time due to the postponement but lose most of the redemption period you are in the same boat as if you didn't get the postponement.
If you have any questions about whether you should postpone the foreclosure sale, consult with a Minnesota attorney.
How to Find Minnesota’s Foreclosure Postponement Law
To find the statute that covers postponing a foreclosure sale in Minnesota, along with the form of affidavit that you must use to get a postponement, go to Chapter 580, § 580.07 of the Minnesota Statutes.