Kentucky law allows a foreclosing lender to expedite (speed up) a foreclosure if a court determines that a home is vacant and abandoned. Keep reading to find out why Kentucky allows the lender to fast-track the foreclosure of abandoned homes, how the foreclosure process works when it comes to abandoned properties, and how you can stop your home from being fast-tracked if you still live in the home.
Why Kentucky Allows Faster Foreclosures for Abandoned Homes
Foreclosures in Kentucky are judicial, which means the lender must file a lawsuit in state court in order to foreclose the home. Generally, judicial foreclosures can take a long time to complete -- usually at least several months in Kentucky. (To learn more about Kentucky foreclosure laws, visit Nolo’s Kentucky Foreclosure Law Center.)
If the foreclosure takes a long time, the homeowner may become frustrated and move out before the process is over. As a result, the home could sit empty while the foreclosure works its way through the court system. The condition of an unoccupied home can quickly decline and an empty house often attracts vandals or criminal activity. This drags down the value of the vacant home, as well as home values in the surrounding neighborhood. (Learn more about the reasons states implement fast-track foreclosure laws for abandoned homes.)
To deal with this problem, Kentucky has a fast-track foreclosure law that that applies in cases where the homeowner has left the home for good.
How The Fast-Track Foreclosure Process Works in Kentucky
To start a Kentucky foreclosure, the lender files a complaint with the court and serves it to the homeowner with a summons. (Learn more about the difference between a foreclosure summons and complaint.)
Under Kentucky law, the lender can file an affidavit with the court along with the complaint (or during the foreclosure process) that provides evidence that the home is empty. If the court officially deems the home “vacant and abandoned,” the foreclosure is expedited.
What constitutes a vacant and abandoned home? The court will declare the home vacant and abandoned if there has been no legal resident living in the home for 45 or more consecutive days and two or more of the following conditions exist.
- There is overgrown or dead vegetation.
- There is an accumulation of flyers, mail, or trash.
- The homeowner disconnected the utilities.
- There are no window coverings or furniture in the home.
- There are uncorrected hazardous conditions or vandalism.
- The neighbors, delivery persons, or government employees have stated that the property is vacant.
Once the court enters a judgment and order of sale that includes a finding that the home is vacant and abandoned, the master commissioner (the party that holds foreclosure sales in Kentucky) will sell the home within 70 days. The court will then confirm the sale approximately 20 days thereafter. This can reduce the foreclosure timeline in Kentucky by weeks or months.
How to Fight the Fast-Track Foreclosure
To stop the court from declaring the home abandoned, the homeowner must respond to the foreclosing party’s assertion that the home is unoccupied and present evidence that he or she has not abandoned the property. (Learn more general information about How to Protect Yourself from a Fast-Track Foreclosure of an "Abandoned" Home.)
If you are facing a foreclosure in Kentucky and the foreclosing party has requested that the court declare your home vacant and abandoned, but you still live there, it is recommended that you speak with an experienced Kentucky 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.)
How to Find Kentucky’s Laws
To find the statute that discusses the lender’s right to expedite the foreclosure of an abandoned home in Kentucky, go to Chapter 426, Section 426.205 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes.