As of mid-2014, Indiana has one of the highest percentages of abandoned homes in foreclosure in the country. This is a serious problem because vacant homes can quickly fall into disrepair and tend to attract vandals or illegal activity, which brings down property values in the surrounding neighborhood.
To deal with this issue, Indiana has implemented a fast-track foreclosure law that applies in cases where the homeowner has left the property for good. Read on to learn more about how a fast-track foreclosure of an abandoned home in Indiana works, what constitutes evidence of abandonment, and how you can fight a fast-track foreclosure in Indiana if you still occupy the home. (Learn more about the reasons states implement fast-track foreclosure laws for abandoned homes.)
Generally, under Indiana foreclosure law, the lender must wait three months after filing a complaint for foreclosure (the first step in the foreclosure process) before it can hold a foreclosure sale. However, if a court deems a home “abandoned,” there is no waiting period. (To learn more about Indiana foreclosure laws, visit Nolo’s Indiana Foreclosure Law Center.)
Under Indiana law, the lender can file a motion with the court at the start of the foreclosure (or during the foreclosure process) that asks the court to make a determination that the homeowner abandoned the property. In its motion, the lender must include evidence that the home is vacant. (Ind. Code § 32-30-10.6-3).
What constitutes evidence of abandonment? Any one of the following conditions can constitute evidence of abandonment.
The court will then issue an order to show cause as to why it should not declare the home abandoned and set a hearing date. The hearing may take place as soon as 15 days after the court issues the order (Ind. Code § 32-30-10.6-4).
To stop the foreclosure from being fast-tracked, the homeowner must:
Under Indiana law, an attorney can represent the homeowner at the abandonment hearing (Ind. Code § 32-30-10.6-4). (Learn more general information about How to Protect Yourself from a Fast-Track Foreclosure of an "Abandoned" Home.)
If the homeowner fails to respond or fails to properly contest the lender’s claim that he or she abandoned the home, the court will issue an order declaring the home abandoned and order an immediate foreclosure sale (Ind. Code § 32-30-10.6-5).
If your lender is asking an Indiana court to determine that you abandoned your home, but you still live there, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced Indiana foreclosure attorney to discuss your rights and how to enforce them. (Learn more about how to find and hire an attorney in Nolo’s Foreclosure Lawyers & Other Foreclosure Help area.)