If I lose my home to foreclosure in Alaska, can I get it back?

You might be able to redeem (repurchase) your home after foreclosure in Alaska, but it's unlikely.

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Question

I have owned a home in Alaska for many years. A few months ago I lost my job and fell behind in my mortgage payments. The house is now in foreclosure. If I lose it to foreclosure, is there any way for me to get it back afterwards?

Answer

You may be able to get your home back after the foreclosure sale, but it’s unlikely. In Alaska, you can repurchase or “redeem” your home after losing it in foreclosure only under certain circumstances. If yours is similar to most Alaska foreclosures, you probably won’t meet the criteria for redemption.

Whether you can redeem your home depends on whether the foreclosure was nonudicial (where the foreclosure takes place without court supervision) or judicial (where the lender files a lawsuit in court to foreclose your home). In a nutshell, here are the rules (which are explained in more detail below):

  • Judicial foreclosure. If the foreclosure was judicial you can redeem your home within 12 months of the foreclosure sale.
  • Nonjudicial foreclosure. If the foreclosure was nonjudicial, you can only get your home back if your deed of trust specifically provides a right of redemption.

In Alaska, most foreclosures are nonjudicial and most deeds of trust don’t allow you to redeem your home after foreclosure.

When You Can Get Your Home Back After a Nonjudicial Foreclosure in Alaska

Alaska law does not provide foreclosed homeowners with a right to redeem after a nonjudicial foreclosure. However, if the deed of trust that you signed when taking out the loan specifically provides a right of redemption, you may redeem the home after an out-of-court foreclosure (Alaska Stat. § 34.20.090(a)). (Learn more about the difference between a mortgage and a deed of trust.) If your documents give you the right to redeem, you can get your home back by following the procedures described in those documents.

Read your loan documents. Alaska deeds of trust often do not provide a right of redemption. Be sure to check your loan documents before the sale to find out if you have the right to redeem the home after the foreclosure. Otherwise you could find yourself out of luck if you wait until the foreclosure is completed to try to save your home.

When You Can Get Your Home Back After a Judicial Foreclosure in Alaska

If the foreclosure is judicial, you have 12 months after the court confirms the foreclosure sale to redeem your home (Alaska Stat. § 09.35.250). If you don’t redeem the home within this time frame (called the redemption period), your right to redeem expires. After that, you won’t have another opportunity to get your house back. (Learn more general information about the right of redemption.)

How Much You'll Have to Pay to Get Your Home Back

In order to redeem, you must reimburse the purchaser (the person or entity who bought it at the foreclosure sale) for the full price paid at the sale, plus all other lawful charges such as:

  • interest at a rate of 8% a year from the sale date
  • the amount of any taxes the purchaser paid (or that were assessed), and
  • any amounts the purchaser paid for certain court-allowed expenses (such as necessary repairs or insurance) after buying the property at the foreclosure sale (Alaska Stat. § 09.35.250, § 09.35.300(b)).

How to Redeem Your Home After a Judicial Foreclosure

To redeem the house, you must pay the redemption amount to the peace officer who conducted the sale. (The court can tell you more about how to do this.) Once you redeem, you’ll get a certificate of redemption and the peace officer will immediately notify the purchaser that you have reclaimed the property (Alaska Stat. § 09.35.270). If the purchaser does not subsequently move out of the home, you should speak with an attorney to find out what you need to do to enforce your rights.

If Possible, Don’t Wait Until After the Foreclosure to Save Your Home

In most cases if you want to keep your home, it is better to take action before the foreclosure sale. This will give you more options to save the property. For example, you could:

Foreclosures in Alaska take several months to complete so you should have plenty of time to explore alternatives to foreclosure before the sale. (To learn more about foreclosure laws and procedures in Alaska, visit Nolo’s Alaska Foreclosure Law Center.)

Finding Alaska’s Redemption Laws

To find the statutes that discuss your right to redeem the home after a foreclosure in Alaska, go to Title 34, Chapter 34.20 and Title 9, Chapter 09.35 of the Alaska Statutes.

by: , Contributing Editor

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