If I lose my home to foreclosure in D.C., can I get it back?

You cannot get your home back by redeeming after a foreclosure in Washington D.C., but you can redeem before the foreclosure sale.

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Question

About ten years ago I bought a great home in Washington, D.C. I’m self-employed and my construction business has been struggling over the past few years due to the bad economy. I fell behind in my mortgage payments a couple of months ago and the house is now in foreclosure. I just got hired for a job that pays really well. I want to stay in my home. Is there any way for me to get the house back if it gets foreclosed? I heard something about being able to “redeem” the home after the foreclosure.

Answer

No, you can’t get the home back after the foreclosure. While some states allow a foreclosed homeowner to repurchase or “redeem” the home after losing it to foreclosure by reimbursing the person (or other entity) who bought it at the foreclosure sale for the full purchase price, the District of Columbia does not provide you with a post-sale right to redeem. You can, however, redeem the home before the sale.

When You Can Redeem Your Home in a District of Columbia Foreclosure

Foreclosures in the District of Columbia can be nonjudicial (where the foreclosure takes place without court supervision) or judicial (where the lender files a lawsuit in court to foreclose your home). Most foreclosures are nonjudicial.

In the case of both nonjudicial and judicial foreclosures in Washington, D.C, you do not have the right to redeem your home after the foreclosure sale, but you do get what is called an "equitable right of redemption" prior to the sale. At any time before the sale, you can pay off the loan in full, plus costs, and redeem the home in order to keep it. (Learn more general information about the right of redemption.)

If you don’t redeem the home (or take some other action to stop the foreclosure) before the sale occurs, you won’t have another opportunity to save your house.

How Much You'll Have to Pay to Save Your Home

In order to redeem, you must pay the full amount of the unpaid loan, plus all other lawful charges such as interest, attorney's fees, and costs. To find out the exact procedures for redeeming your home, check with the court (if the foreclosure is judicial) or the trustee (the party that handles a nonjudicial foreclosure). Or consult with a Washington, D.C. attorney.

Take Action to Save Your Home as Early as Possible

If you want to keep your home, take action before the foreclosure sale happens. Besides redeeming the home, you could, for example:

Foreclosures in the District of Columbia can happen very quickly so be sure to explore alternatives to foreclosureas soon as possible. (To learn more about foreclosure laws and procedures in Washington, D.C., visit Nolo’s District of Columbia Foreclosure Law Center.)

Finding the District of Columbia’s Foreclosure Laws

To find the statutes that discuss foreclosure sales in Washington, D.C, go to Title 42, Subtitle I, Chapter 8 of the District of Columbia Code.

by: , Contributing Editor

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