I’m a homeowner living in Ohio. Many years ago I took out an interest-only mortgage at 7.0% interest. I was able to make the payments up until a few months ago when I got a divorce. Now I have to cover the payments with just my paycheck, and I'm not able to keep up. The house is going into foreclosure, but I want to keep it. I think I can take on some extra work and raise my income. Is there any way for me to get the house back if the foreclosure happens?
No, you won’t be able to get the house back once the foreclosure goes through. You do, however, have until the court confirms the foreclosure sale to pay off the full amount of the judgment (plus certain additional amounts) and keep the house. This is called “redeeming” the property. (Alternatively, you may be able to work out a deal with the lender, like a loan modification, so long as you do so before the sale. This is discussed in further detail below.)
When You Can Redeem Your Home in an Ohio Foreclosure
Ohio foreclosures are judicial, which means the lender files a lawsuit in court to foreclose your home. After the lender obtains a foreclosure judgment from the court, the sale process starts with an appraisal to determine the fair market value (FMV) of the home. At the sale, the home cannot be sold for less than two-thirds of the FMV. (To learn more about foreclosure laws and procedures in Ohio, visit Nolo’s Ohio Foreclosure Law Center.)
After the foreclosure sale takes place, the court must confirm it. (This validates the sale.) You have the right to redeem the home at any time after the sale, up until the sale is confirmed -- but not after (Ohio Rev. Code § 2329.33). The confirmation will probably take place around 30 to 60 days after the sale date. (Learn more general information about the right of redemption.)
How Much You'll Have to Pay to Redeem the House
In order to redeem, you must pay the full amount of the foreclosure judgment, plus costs and interest (Ohio Rev. Code. Ann. § 2329.33).
To find out the exact procedure for redeeming your home, check with the court or consult with an Ohio attorney. (The redemption process in Ohio is rather complicated. It is recommended that you seek the assistance of an attorney to help you if you want to redeem the home.)
Other Options to Save Your Home If You Act Before the Foreclosure Sale
If you want to save your home from foreclosure, it is typically better to work something out with the lender before the sale. This will give you more options to save the property. For example, you could:
- reinstate the mortgage by catching up on the past-due amounts (including missed payments, interest, costs, and fees) or
- work out another agreement with the lender that will allow you to keep the property, such as a mortgage modification, forbearance agreement, or repayment plan.
How to Find Ohio’s Redemption Laws
To find the statute that discusses your right to redeem the home in Ohio, go to Title 23, Chapter 2329 of the Ohio Revised Code.