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

If you lose your home to foreclosure in Hawaii, you can't get it back. But you can redeem (repurchase) it before the foreclosure sale.

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Question

Help! My house in Hawaii is about to go into foreclosure. I wanted to get a mortgage modification so I hired a company to help me after receiving a mailing from them. They told me to stop making my monthly payments to the lender (and pay them instead) because it would help me get a modification. However, my lender says they never even received a request to modify my loan from this company! Now I’m afraid I’ll lose my home. If the house is foreclosed, is there any way for me to get it back afterwards? I do have some money set aside that I could use to save the home.

Answer

No, you can’t get the home back after the foreclosure. However, you can pay off the full amount of the unpaid loan prior to the sale and keep the house. This is called “redeeming” the home. (You can also try to work out an alternative to foreclosure with your lender that will allow you to keep the home, which we’ll discuss below.)

When You Can Redeem Your Home in a Hawaii Foreclosure

Foreclosures in Hawaii can be judicial (where the lender files a lawsuit in court to foreclose the home) or nonjudicial (where the foreclosure takes place without court supervision). (To learn more about foreclosure laws and procedures in Hawaii, visit Nolo’s Hawaii Foreclosure Law Center.)

In Hawaii, there is no right of redemption with either type of foreclosure after the home has been foreclosed. However, you do get what is called an "equitable right of redemption" prior to the sale. During this time you can pay off the total debt and redeem the home. (Learn more general information about the equitable right of redemption.)

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, your lender's attorney's fees, and costs.

Take Action to Save Your Home as Early as Possible

Keep in mind that there may also be other options available to you to save the home, other than paying off the loan. For example, you could potentially:

Be sure to explore alternatives to foreclosure as soon as possible because once the foreclosure is over, you’re out of luck.

Avoiding Mortgage Modification Scams

If you want to request a mortgage modification or other alternative to foreclosure from your lender, you don’t have to hire a company to help you. Generally, it’s not difficult to apply for a modification on your own. (Learn more about how you can apply for and obtain a loan modification on your own without paying for assistance.)

If you do find yourself having difficulty with the application or your lender isn’t being fair with you during the modification process, you should consult with a qualified, reputable attorney rather than a loan modification company so you don’t get scammed. (Learn about how to avoid Mortgage Loan Modification Scams.)

Finding Hawaii’s Foreclosure Laws

To find the statutes that govern foreclosures in Hawaii, go to Title 36, Chapter 667 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.

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