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

In New York you cannot redeem (repurchase) your home after a foreclosure sale, but you can get it back by redeeming before the sale.

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Question

My parents both died a few years ago and I inherited their home in Syracuse, New York. My then-boyfriend and I took out a mortgage on the house and moved in. We later broke up and I couldn’t keep up with the payments on just my salary alone. The lender started a foreclosure, but the house has not gone to sale yet. I just accepted a new job, which pays much better than my old one. I really don’t want to lose the house since it meant a lot to my parents. If it gets foreclosed, can I get it back afterwards?

Answer

No, you don’t get the right to repurchase or “redeem” the home after the sale. There are some states that permit foreclosed homeowners to repurchase their home after the foreclosure sale (called the “statutory right of redemption”), but New York is not one of them.

You can, however, redeem the property before the foreclosure sale by paying the mortgage balance in full. This is called the “equitable right of redemption.” (Learn more general information about the right of redemption.)

Or, you might be able to make another arrangement with the lender that will allow you to keep the home. For example, the lender might agree to give you a loan modification. However, you must arrange this before the sale takes place.

You Can Redeem Your Home Before the Sale in a New York Foreclosure

Foreclosures in New York are judicial, which means the lender must file a lawsuit in court to foreclose your home. As part of the foreclosure process, the court will enter a judgment and order the home sold to satisfy the debt. (To learn more about foreclosure laws and procedures in New York, visit Nolo’s New York Foreclosure Law Center.)

In New York, you can redeem up until the sale of the property. After the home is sold pursuant to a judgment of sale, you no longer have a right of redemption (N.Y. Real Prop. Acts. Law § 1352).

How Much It Will Cost to Redeem the House

To redeem the home before the sale, you’ll have to pay the full amount of the mortgage debt, including costs and interest.

You can find out the procedure and the exact amount needed to redeem your home before the sale by calling the foreclosing lender’s attorney. You may also wish to consult with a New York attorney who can guide you through the process.

Other Ways to Save Your Home Before the Foreclosure Sale

In addition, there may be other options available to you to save your home besides redeeming the home prior to the sale. For example, you could reinstate the mortgage loan by catching up on the past due amounts. (While New York law does not specifically give you the right to reinstate the loan, you may be able to negotiate a reinstatement with the lender.)

Another possible option is to arrange a workout with the lender that would allow you to stay in the property, such as a mortgage modification, forbearance agreement, or repayment plan.

Where to Find New York’s Redemption Laws

To find the statute that discusses your right to redeem the home in New York, go to Article 13 of the Real Property Actions & Proceedings law.

by: , Contributing Editor

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